Jan 22 2013

Making A Name for Himself

Paul Thurmond

The Thurmond name is no stranger to South Carolina politics, but newly elected District 41 representative Paul Thurmond is determined to make his own mark in the state legislator after defeating Democratic challenger Paul Tinkler in November 2012. With a new year comes new challenges, and Thurmond is excited to take on a number of important issues in the Palmetto State. In a special interview with the Island Connection, the new representative discusses his plans, challenges, and hopes for 2013. Thurmond announced earlier this week that he would not enter the race for the US District 1 House seat vacated by Tim Scott, but would instead focus his attentions on District 41 and his constituents.

What are the biggest challenges facing the state of South Carolina in 2013?

Unemployment, education, and ethics. We are near the bottom in the nation with one of the highest unemployment rates. We are near the bottom in education and we are failing in ethics. These three areas are going to be the most challenging for our state. 

What will be your first order of business in the New Year?

The first order of business is going to be election reform to ensure that the election issues of 2012, which resulted in the disenfranchisement of thousands of voters, never happen again. 

How do you hope to fill the shoes of former District 41 Senator Glenn McConnell?

His shoes are impossible to fill. Lieutenant Governor McConnell served our District with dedication and honor. I consider him a true statesman. I hope to emulate his work ethic and his knowledge of the rules so that I can be effective for our district.

As the son of Strom Thurmond, how will you make your own mark in South Carolina politics?

I hope that I can look back on this opportunity with no regrets, knowing that I did it honestly and gave it my all and improved the State of South Carolina.

What do you hope to accomplish for South Carolina and District 41 in 2013?

I’ll start with election reform. I’ll try to re-kindle trust in public servants by passing ethics reform. I’ll make our area more attractive to businesses and individuals by revamping the tax code. I’ll work to make that sure we limit the size of government and it’s growth. I’ll work to pass education reform focusing on more choices for parents and rewards for educators that are doing good work. Finally, I hope to find a resolution to the state’s infrastructure needs. All of these issues will take a team effort within the legislature. I hope to build relationships that will help increase the likelihood that we achieve these goals.

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