There are times in our lives when we must make a clear stand and choice. It is easy to sit and watch the political process but the process was created for citizens to participate. It is true that all citizens were not initially intended to have a voice in who represented them on a state level but that time has past. It is a new day with new opportunity and there is no longer a reason to not be involved.
When first drafted the verbiage of the South Carolina Constitution was worded in such a way that only those with substantial wealth and time could serve as state representatives. Yet still today this is part of what hinders many from pursuing a place in the South Carolina House of Representatives. In addition, due to the very insignificant pay of $10,400, the normal make up of state Representatives is that of law professionals. Due to the recent death of Rep. Cathy Harvin (D – Seat 64) the opportunity was opened for a new representative for the greater part of Clarendon County and a part of Williamsburg County. Both political parties have candidates running for this seat in an upcoming special election with the primary set for February 15th.
The candidates who have officially filed to run include on the Republican ballot Derry Beard and Sonny Sanders; and on the Democratic ballot Alvin M. Greene, Kevin L. Johnson, Bernard Richburg, and Dwight Stewart. The ballots are comprised of businessmen as well as those with experience as elected officals. However, there is one candidate who has the leadership experience and a long-standing service to the community in various positions. Kevin L. Johnson currently serving as Mayor for the town of Manning, SC has tested and true experience as well as the communication skills needed to serve in the South Carolina House of Representatives. Therefore we at ‘Politics is Power’ endorse Kevin L. Johnson for the South Carolina House District #64 seat.
Below are specific examples of his leadership and experience:
Current Leadership Positions
- Mayor – Manning, South Carolina, since 2000
- President – South Carolina Municipal Association, since 2008
- Board Member – Santee Lynchees Regional Council of Governments, since 2000
- Regional Manager – South Carolina Department of Revenue
- Chairman – Ebenezer Baptist Church Board of Trustees
Prior Leadership Positions
- Manning City Council
- Board Member – Clarendon County Council District 2
- Board Member – Clarendon Chamber of Commerce
- Board Member – Harvin Clarendon County Library
- Board Chairman – Black River Healthcare, Inc.
- Completed – 1995 Leadership South Carolina
- Completed – 2006 South Carolina Executive Institute
- Alumnus – University of South Carolina – B.S. Degree in Management & Marketing
In addition to his current and prior leadership roles he has proven successes as Mayor of Manning, SC. In addition his experience includes a solid understanding of fiscal responsibility.
Some of his highlights as mayor include:
- Adoption of balanced budget every year and operation within budget
- Retaining a healthy fund balance that allowed city funds to be used for matching grants and unexpected expenses without increasing taxes and fees.
- Working to run water lines along Hwy 261 to the Town of Paxville
- Providing water and sewer to citizens of Alcolu, SC
- Moved to new state of the art City Hall offices
- Purchased via cash for police cars and fire trucks
In summary, Kevin L. Johnson has the clear leadership and fiscal responsibility to be a member of the General Assembly. His proven experience to work with those in disagreement with him is what is needed within the South Carolina House.
Joyce Rose-Harris is Editor in Chief of ‘Politics is Power’ Blog