House Speaker Bobby Harrell has cruised to re-election with no opposition for most of his 10 Statehouse elections, but he finds challengers from the right and the left Tuesday.
John Steinberger, a Fair Tax advocate who originally filed as a Republican for the Senate District 41 seat, is running for the District 114 seat as an independent, or petition, candidate.
Larry Carter Center, who originally filed for the seat as a Democrat but was among more than 200 candidates knocked off the ballot this year, re-entered the race as a Green Party candidate.
Harrell has made headlines for questions surrounding how he has reimbursed himself from his campaign account. He has said he has abided by all state ethics laws.
“My No. 1 issue with Bobby is him being there too long,” Center said. “I’m for term limits.”
If re-elected, Harrell said he would work to cut the income tax on small businesses and take other steps to lure jobs to the state.
“We need to be focused as a state in growing our economy and helping folks to get a better standard of living,” he said, adding he is proudest of his work to help lure Boeing to North Charleston and his role in getting $300 million in state money to deepen Charleston Harbor.
Steinberger said he respects Harrell, but he is running because he feels the state needs bold policy initiatives, such as eliminating the state income tax in favor of a consumption tax and encouraging more charter schools.
“Most people are aware that Texas and Florida lead the country in job creation, and one big advantage they have is zero income tax status,” he said.
Center said he favors hiring more teachers, expanding unions’ power in South Carolina and eliminating sales tax exemptions so the rate can be lowered to 4 percent.