Challenger is District 97 House race says party is the problem
The S.C. House District 97 election race is all about party affiliation.
Family: Wife, Theresa; two children, five grandchildren.
Occupation: Commercial real estate appraiser.
Education: The Citadel, B.A. in political science; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, master’s in aeronautical science management.
Previous elected office: None.
Why are you running?: “We have the opportunity here to have a legislative delegation that’s united, not divided. We can work together to do some positive things for Dorchester County.”
What is the biggest issue facing the county?: “Jobs, jobs and jobs. People in the upper part of the county have to commute for jobs.”
Contact info: email@example.com, office: 843-875-1487, cell: 843-709-2555.
Democrat Patsy Knight, the incumbent, is being challenged by Republican Ed Carter.
Patsy G. Knight
Family: Two children, two grandchildren.
Occupation: Full-time legislator.
Education: Harleyville-Ridgeville High School.
Previous elected office: Dorchester County Treasurer, 1980-2006; S.C. House of Representatives, 2006-present.
Why are you running?: “To continue the great things that have already gotten started.”
What is the biggest issue facing the county?: “A combination of things. Jobs, I think, are most important. But to have jobs, you have to have infrastructure. You have to have education. It’s not very colorful, but you have to have sewer and water.”
Contact info: 843-560-2200, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.patsyknight.com.
The seat represents most of Dorchester County outside Summerville, and a slice of Colleton County.
When Carter, of Dorchester, a former county administrator, talks about having a council that’s united, not divided, he means one thing: Knight is the lone Democrat in the county delegation, although Sen. John W. Matthews Jr., D-Orangeburg, represents a portion of the upper county.
“We’ve had a delegation that wasn’t marching on the same path,” Carter said, after pointing out that it’s tough for a minority party to work within a delegation.
Knight, of St. George, who has held the seat since 2006, disagrees.
“Party shouldn’t stand in the way of being productive, and I’ve never let party do that,” she said. “It hurts residents when we base our decisions on what party we’re in.”
In the midst of the campaign, Carter has been haunted again by a sexual harassment accusation over a remark he made when he was an Air Force wing commander in Korea in the early 1990s.
This time, it was brought up in a political blog before the June primary, and has been circulating since.
Knight said she had nothing to do with it, and has been staying away from it.
“But I do know it’s been coming up. I think it’s up to the voters to decide,” she said.
It’s old news, Carter said. The accusation was leveled 20 years ago in the wake of the Air Force’s Tail Hook scandal when, if anybody complained, he said, you were guilty until proven innocent.
“They can say what they want. I’ll stand on my 26-year military record, with two years in Vietnam as a fighter pilot, with anybody,” he said.
Reach Bo Petersen at 937-5744, @bopete on Twitter or Bo Petersen Reporting on Facebook.