EDITOR’S NOTE: The Post and Courier plans to profile all 18 Republican and Democratic 1st Congressional District candidates by the March 19 primaries. This is the sixth installment.
Birthday: Aug. 8, 1962.Education: Bachelor of Science from the University of South Carolina.Occupation: Executive with Limehouse Properties.Previous offices held: S.C. House District 110 (1995-present).Family: Wife, Susan; two children.Why I’m running: “I’m an effective conservative who is used to getting things accomplished.”Proudest accomplishment: “I have a wealth of legislative experience, and that’s what we’re picking: a federal legislator.”Contact information: email@example.com; www.ChipLimehouse.net; 637-6377.
BY ROBERT BEHRE
State Rep. Chip Limehouse has been in office longer than any of the 15 other GOP hopefuls in the 1st Congressional District race and is emphasizing all he has done in that time.
“I’m an effective conservative who is used to getting things accomplished,” the Charleston Republican said. “I know how to balance budgets.”
First elected to the House in 1994, Limehouse’s record is so extensive he had to be reminded of a talking point — his recent efforts to line up $180 million in state money for dredging the Port of Charleston — during a recent appearance before area Republicans.
Limehouse also has talked about State Infrastructure Bank-supported projects, such as the Sheep Island interchange in Berkeley County and Charleston’s Septima Clark Expressway drainage work, as well as the Charleston County Aviation Authority’s support of Boeing’s airplane plant. He serves on both the bank’s and authority’s boards.
He also cites his support of laws increasing penalties for sex offenders. He was the lead sponsor on Megan’s Law, which created a sex offender registry in South Carolina, and on legislation to establish the Amber Alert system.
As for spending cuts and balancing the federal budget — looming as the campaign’s biggest issue — Limehouse said he favors repealing the Affordable Care Act, but is more cautious about other entitlement programs.
“If you paid for your Social Security and for your Medicare, you should get it,” he said.
Limehouse said the budget can be brought more into balance by eliminating wasteful spending, such as federal funding for the arts and the U.S. Department of Energy. He said he also favors a balanced budget amendment.
Asked if he would support the immigration reform in the works in Washington, Limehouse said he wanted to see more specifics about how the bill would handle the estimated 11 million Americans here illegally. He said he doesn’t favor amnesty, adding, “They did that under (President Ronald) Reagan, and it didn’t seem to work out so well.”
Limehouse, who works in a family real estate business that employs about 45 people, said he will do all he can to protect the Lowcountry from further military cutbacks, such as the Charleston Naval Base and Shipyard closure in the mid 1990s.
“If they try to take any more military out of the 1st District, I’m going to raise Cain,” he said. “I know you all think I’m just a happy, jolly fellow, but I’m good at raising Cain.”
He said he supports term limits, but only if all legislators are bound by them. He noted the state House passed 12-year limits on lawmakers, but the state Senate never took up the bill.
Mount Pleasant Mayor Billy Swails is among several local GOP leaders who have known Limehouse for years and are backing his campaign.
“He’s done so much for the Lowcountry and the town of Mount Pleasant,” Swails said. “He can accomplish things, and he can reach across the aisle. He’s a worker, not a talker. He knows how to compromise and be a diplomat.”
Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.