Margaret Rush is the only woman in the six-way Democratic race for the state Senate District 42 seat, but she says it’s not her gender that sets her apart.

Margaret Rush

Age: 63

Family: Husband, George; one son, one grandson.

Education: Voorhees College, B.S.; Webster Univ, M.A.

Occupation: Construction management consultant

Previous elective office: None

Why I am running: “Because experience matters. I served 12 years as 9th Circuit Highway Commissioner, 10 years as a government liaison working directly with legislators, and I am a local businesswoman creating jobs right here.”

More than anything, Senate Dist. 42 needs: “Jobs, quality health care and an experienced, trusted voice to truly represent our community. I have the business experience and political savvy to be that voice.”

Contact info: 572-1872; margaret@rushfor; Facebook:

“The best way to tell what a person will do is to look at what they’ve already done,” she said, adding that her 12-year career as a state highway commissioner and her more recent work in construction management shows what she has to offer.

Rush ran for the Senate seat before, losing in 1992 to Robert Ford, who held the seat for more than 20 years until he resigned in May amid ethics questions and health problems.

“Even though I wasn’t successful, I kept working,” Rush said. “I have never gone away.”

Rush faces Emmanuel Ferguson, Herbert Fielding, Marlon Kimpson, Bob Thompson and Maurice Washington in the Aug. 13 Democratic primary. If no one gets more than 50 percent, the top two will meet in an Aug. 27 runoff.

Rush cited a few examples of her leadership from her days as a highway commissioner. She noted that she insisted officials act when a study found dangerous erosion around the base of an Ashley River drawbridge.

She said she went to Washington, D.C., to fight for the restoration of funding for the James Island Expressway, then moved to name it after the commissioner who served just before she did, Robert Scarborough.

“It wasn’t about credit,” she said. “I never bragged about what I did. I never talked about the impacts I had.”

She said she also urged the state to adopt university license plates to raise money for highway repair.

If elected, Rush said she would convene neighborhood meetings to hear what residents, businesses and institutions need.

“This district has a lot of needs,” she said. “This election is about economic development. It’s about jobs. It’s about health care, and it’s about crime.”

With only one woman among the state’s 46 senators, and with no female lawmakers from Charleston County, Rush said the election also is about a chance to change the status quo.

“That certainly is an important matter,” she said. “Women are not represented in the (county) delegation.”

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.