The Republican race for the House District 112 seat will be a repeat for voters in parts of Mount Pleasant, Isle of Palms and Sullivan's Island.
As in 2008, Mike Sottile of the Isle of Palms, now the incumbent, will face Joe Bustos of Mount Pleasant in the GOP primary June 8. No Democrats filed for that party's primary.
Sottile, who just finished his first term in the Statehouse, said he's learned the ropes and expects to hit the ground running if re-elected. Job creation, economic development and education are Sottile's priorities and those of constituents he's met on his campaign, he said.
Bustos, owner of a travel company and a former Mount Pleasant town councilman, lost to Sottile in 2008 while garnering 44 percent of the vote. He said the political climate is different this time around. People are paying more attention to their government than ever before, he said, but they feel disconnected from it because state and federal lawmakers did what they wanted instead of what they promised.
"I think we have a lot of work to do to regain that trust and to get this state and country back on an even keel," Bustos said.
Bustos said he wants to shrink government by privatizing services, such as the state police academy, and supports changing state law so business license fees are based on net profits rather than gross receipts. He also favors the consumption-based "fair tax."
The Legislature appointed a commission to look at the state's tax structure, and Sottile said he wants to see its recommendations before drawing any conclusions.
"Everything is on the table," Sottile said, adding that focusing only on business license fees seemed like a piecemeal plan.
Sottile said his appointment to the Judiciary Committee, and his role in helping persuade Boeing to set up shop in South Carolina, are among his accomplishments during his first term. Sottile said he's been working hard for residents of his district but has learned that he can't change things as fast as he'd like.
"You have to build coalitions. You can't do anything by yourself. You have to be able to reach across the aisle at times to get things done," Sottile said, adding that he's done that.
Bustos said he's a conservative, and emphasizes personal responsibility and making government smaller.
"Those are the key things on my mind," Bustos said.
Family: Wife Kathy; children Kelly Ellsworth and Brian Bustos
Residence: 649 King St.
Occupation: Retired Army lieutenant colonel; certified flight instructor; Bustos Travel Service owner.
Education: Bachelor's degree, Columbia College; master's degree, Central Michigan University; master of science in administration, Army Command and General Staff College.
Public offices: Elected to Town Council in 2000, chairs Bids and Purchases Committee and sits on Annexation, Economic Development and Personnel committees; board member, Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority.
Family: Wife Loraine; daughter Amy
Residence: 132 Sparrow Drive, Isle of Palms
Occupation: Independent insurance agent for 35 years, employed by C.T. Lowndes & Co.; retired Air Force veteran.
Education: Bishop England High School, attended Baptist College at Charleston.
Public offices: House District 112 representative, elected in 2008; former Isle of Palms mayor and City Council member.