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 eighth installment.
Birth date: Aug. 20, 1978.Education: Hampden-Sydney College, B.A.; Regent University, J.D.Occupation: Lawyer and small-business owner, McCoy and Stokes Law Firm.Previous offices held: S.C. House District 115 (2011-present).Family: Wife, Jennifer; one daughter.Why I’m running: “To put America back on a path to prosperity and preserve the American Dream for our next generation. We won’t get there with career politicians who put titles above principles.”Proudest accomplishment: “My matrimony with Jennifer and the birth of our daughter, Mae Loflin.”Contact information: www.PeterMcCoy.com; info@petermc coy.com; 452-7722.
BY ROBERT BEHRE
March 19: Republican and Democratic primariesApril 2: Primary runoff (if needed)May 7: Special election
State Rep. Peter McCoy is one of several 1st Congressional District hopefuls now serving in the General Assembly, but he is not talking much about his record in Columbia.
That’s because McCoy is walking a line between portraying himself as a candidate with the necessary experience for the job but also one without any whiff of being a career politician.
On the stump, McCoy is more likely to mention his young daughter than his legislative past.
“It’s time for somebody to stand up and fight. I’m looking at a situation where my girl is staring down a $16 trillion (national) debt,” he said. “It’s the career politicians that have gotten us on this path and into this mess. Same names. Same faces. They’re the ones who put us on the path we’re on now.”
McCoy, 34, served as a prosecutor under Solicitor Scarlett Wilson before leaving to start his own law firm.
He made the change around the time he won the District 115 House seat on James Island, besting incumbent Rep. Anne Peterson Hutto, a Democrat.
“I’m the only guy in this race who has beaten two Democrats in the last two cycles,” McCoy said.
McCoy said if elected, he would not be looking at his next political step or to appease donors or special interests. Instead, his top goal would be to support a federal balanced budget amendment.
“I’m not a career guy. I’d like to be up there four terms at the most, then I want to come home,” he said. “My goal is not to be up there forever.”
While a relatively new lawmaker, McCoy said he is proud of his record, particularly where S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson and others have asked him to lead on the legislative agenda for the state’s law enforcement community.
But if sent to Congress, he said his focus would be on spending cuts, such as getting rid of the U.S. Education and Agriculture departments and reducing foreign aid to countries such as Pakistan.
He said he also favors going through agencies’ budgets to reduce fraud, waste and duplication.
He has been endorsed by the mayors of two cities in his legislative district, Mayor Tim Goodwin of Folly Beach and James Island Mayor Bill Woolsey.
“I think he has sound fiscally conservative instincts, and he understands the need to control federal government spending,” Woolsey said, adding he has worked closely with McCoy in recent years.
“I think he has shown that he’s someone who will listen to the needs of constituents,” he added.
But most voters in the 1st District, which includes parts of Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton and Dorchester counties, are less familiar with McCoy, and his challenge will be to reach out to them in the coming weeks.
“I think folks are ready for a new face,” McCoy said. “They’re looking hard for an alternative to be that new guy.”