S.C. Rep. Beth Bernstein – one of the party’s up-and-coming young lawmakers – says she won’t seek a State Senate seat being vacated by her longtime friend and political mentor, Joel Lourie.
“After much prayer and personal reflection, my conclusion is that while serving in the Senate would be an exciting opportunity, I believe my recent appointments to the House Judiciary and Ethics Committees allow me to be more effective in representing this community in the House of Representatives,” Bernstein said in a statement. “Therefore, at this time, I do not intend to file for Senator Lourie’s vacant Senate seat.”
“I am able to effect positive change for my constituency through the legislative process, and I believe I can make a bigger impact for our community by continuing to serve in the House,” Bernstein added, noting that “many of the bills that I have co-sponsored this year have passed, including the Cervical Cancer Prevention Act, of which I was the primary sponsor.”
Bernstein’s decision means the seat being vacated by Lourie will likely go to another rising Democratic star, S.C. Rep. Mia McLeod – who announced her candidacy last week.
We like Bernstein and McLeod. Lots.
“Both are young. Smart. Hard-working. Attractive. Both have well-established networks and lots of institutional support,” we wrote in assessing their “almost” showdown last week.
And did we mention “attractive?”
On several occasions over the last week this website’s founding editor – the eternally pubescent Will Folks – resisted the urge to tweet something about Bernstein and McLeod settling their battle for Lourie’s Senate seat via a jelly wrestling match.
With himself serving as “referee.”
Bottom line? It would have been senseless for Democrats to pit these two candidates against each other for this seat – especially seeing as both lawmakers would have likely been compelled to surrender their seats in the S.C. House.
Oh, one GOP candidate – city of Columbia councilman Daniel Rickenmann – is also said to be eying a bid for this Senate seat, although any “Republican” candidate would face steep odds given the demographic make-up of the district.