Republicans missed the boat in District 114 when former House Speaker Bobby Harrell didn't resign before the deadline to pick another GOP candidate for the seat. Fortunately, voters have an excellent option in Democrat Mary Tinkler.
Ms. Tinkler has strong attributes for the job. She is a real estate agent and small businesswoman with a master's degree in business administration. She will be a moderate, informed voice for her district.
At the top of her agenda are ethics reform, infrastructure improvements and more equitable funding for public education.
She insists the Legislature needs outside review of ethics issues, not the existing House and Senate ethics committees.
And the sad state of South Carolina's roads and bridges needs focused legislative attention - and additional funding, whether by a modest increase in the gas tax or other user fees.
Ms. Tinkler opposes offshore drilling for oil and gas, citing the potential hazard to Charleston's tourism economy. "We have such a beautiful landscape," she said, adding that the hazard of an oil spill is a risk too great for the coastal area to have hanging over it.
One area she identifies as needing major improvement is criminal domestic violence. South Carolina is a wonderful place to visit, she said, and "I want to make sure it's a wonderful place to live."
Ms. Tinkler would bring a fresh outlook to a district that has sent the same representative to Columbia for nearly 22 years. Although Mr. Harrell's name will still be on the ballot, he cannot be elected under the terms of his guilty plea agreement with 1st Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe.
District 114 voters who go to the polls next Tuesday should choose Ms. Tinkler as their representative.