Larry Grooms got into politics almost two decades ago after learning that it would cost him $32,000 in up-front costs to start a new convenience store business in Berkeley County.

What irked him most was that he had started the same kind of business there a few years earlier by buying only a $50 building permit.

“That was my wake-up moment, my ‘Aha’ moment,” the Bonneau businessman said, adding he was particularly troubled by the implications for his children. “Something was taken from them —their ability to start a business on a shoestring was gone.”

It led to his growing involvement in Republican politics and ultimately to the state Senate District 37 seat, which he has held since 1997.

Read more in tomorrow’s Post and Courier.