Where to vote in York CountyJune 7, 2010
Taxpayers Are Ready for Active LeadershipJune 10, 2010
Republican nominee will face longest-serving state lawmaker, Rep. Herb Kirsh of Clover.
Former Solicitor Tommy Pope will take on longtime Democratic state Rep. Herb Kirsh for the District 47 seat in the S.C. House after defeating two challengers Tuesday in the Republican primary.
Pope captured the nomination by handily defeating former Clover Mayor Vance Stine and Clover businessman Brett Boyd, according to unofficial results. Pope beat Stine, the next-highest vote getter, by a margin of more than 3-to-1.
“I’m really just going to relish tonight right now,” the former chief prosecutor for the 16th Circuit said late Tuesday when asked about his plans for the Nov. 2 match-up with Kirsh.
District 47 covers most of north-central York County, including Clover and parts of York and Lake Wylie.
Pope, who gained notoriety for successfully sending Susan Smith to prison for killing her children in Union County, says he’s a natural leader whose talents were sharpened in the solicitor’s office. He left that office in 2007 and has since opened a private law firm in Rock Hill.
Despite his wide margin of victory, Pope said he never felt the primary race was a sure thing.
“I’m always hopeful, but I never take it granted,” he said.
Pope has said jobs and education are the most important issues for the district, but has offered little in the way of specific ideas, plans or legislation he would push.
He says he would actively push for greater transparency in Columbia and support a bill forcing lawmakers’ votes to be recorded for the public.
When Pope took office as York County’s top prosecutor, he faced a stifling backlog of cases.
He introduced a more efficient system of cataloging and trying cases that brought down the number. That system has become a model for the state, he said.
He also initiated the York County drug treatment court and established a juvenile drug court for youth offenders.
Pope has said that, if elected, he would work in Columbia to attract businesses, but has not specified how.
Kirsh, the oldest and longest-serving member of the General Assembly, has held the seat since 1979.
He did not face a primary opponent this year and has run unopposed in the past five general elections.
“Herald Online”- by Jason Foster