Allan Weiss

Age: 62Family: Wife, Violet; two daughters and four grandchildrenParty: RepublicanOccupation: Owns and operates Black’s Camp on Lake MoultrieEducation: Studied industrial electricity at Trident Technical College Previous elected office: NoneWhy are you running? I truly enjoy helping people and serving my neighbors, and I believe more regular business people are needed in government; District 102 is very large and diverse, with unique challenges, and if it is to be properly served, we must have someone who genuinely cares about improving people’s lives.What is the biggest issue facing District 102? We must bring more jobs to South Carolina, in particular to the Berkeley/Dorchester county area. I think there are two important keys to bringing good, new jobs to our state and our community: lower taxes, which increases competitiveness and improves the overall economy; and finding common-sense ways to address our infrastructure needs (without overburdening taxpayers). Thirdly, the legislature must renew its commitment to those things that matter, such as jobs and economy, and worry less about political gamesmanship.Contact info: 843-209-0746, allanweissforhouse@gmail.com

If it weren’t for the campaign signs dotting the rural countryside of the Lowcountry, it would be hard to know that state House District 102 seat is up for re-election Nov. 6.

Joe Jefferson

Age: 65Family: Wife, Iva Deloris Livingston Jefferson; three adult children; five grandchildren.Party: DemocraticOccupation: State legislatorEducation: B.S. degree, Claflin University; graduate, U.S. Naval Civilian Personnel Command; graduate, South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy Magistrate SchoolPrevious Elected Office: S.C. General Assembly since 2004; Berkeley County School Board, 1983-1993.Why are you running? Main objective is to continue the struggle for educational opportunities, health care, better job opportunities, improved environmental conditions for all. Strong willingness to work and put citizens first with honesty and leadership integrity. I will continue to work hard and give honest representation to all.What are the biggest issues facing District 102? I would like to create more jobs, which leads to lower unemployment. Better educational opportunities and better health care for all. Better roads and bridges.Contact Information: 843-567-4386 (home); 843-991-0519 (cell); joejefferson@tds.net.

The candidates, Democratic incumbent Joe Jefferson and Republican challenger Allan Weiss, have known each other for years and have taken pains to keep the campaign positive.

“He’s a friend,” said Weiss, a business owner. “We just have a different vision on what we want to get done.”

Jefferson and his wife frequently visit Weiss’ restaurant. “We would always sit down and have a cordial conversation,” Jefferson said.

Jefferson, who has served the district since 2004, seconded the appointment when Weiss was chosen for the Santee Cooper Country board of tourism.

Jefferson serves on the House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee and counts education, jobs and health care among his priorities.

“We’ve done a lot of good, but we are not finished,” he said. “There is so much to do. Baby boomers are now living longer because of new medical technology, so we want to be around to kind of help that cause out a little bit.”

Weiss has never run for any office, but feels it’s time for a change. Helping small businesses would be his priority, he said.

“I’ve met people who say they like me because I’m not a politician,” Weiss said. “We need more average, regular people in government.”

He said he prefers to “vote for the person, not the party.” Weiss calls himself a people-person who is in touch with the locals.

“Knowing what my employees go through, hearing what impacts them, and hearing the questions from the customers at the register, those kinds of things I hear every day so I’m close to it,” he said. “I have an interest in anything that would impact my constituents.”

Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or www.facebook.com/brindge.