STATE SENATE BID LOOMING?
Rick Reames hasn’t been the prototypical cabinet official …
For starters, he’s run a competent agency – which obviously makes him quite the outlier in the scandal-ravaged cabinet of S.C. governor Nikki Haley.
Seriously … Haley’s agencies are for the most part unmitigated disasters. Conflagrations of incompetence. Emblematic of excess.
Anyway, not only has Reames run a tight ship he has also been an aggressive advocate for taxpayers – doing his best to keep corrupt local governments from misusing revenue obtained from municipal or county-level tax hikes.
Naturally, Reames’ high-profile advocacy has prompted speculation as to his future plans in the political realm. Prompting even more speculation? An upcoming change of address.
Reames and his family are leaving Columbia, S.C. and headed for Camden, S.C. this year – a move our soccer mom sources insist is all about being closer to his family.
Palmetto “Republican” leaders have other thoughts on Reames’ move, though.
Specifically, they see it as an opportunity to pick up a State Senate seat currently held by a Democrat – and not just any Democrat, the party’s two-time gubernatorial standard-bearer, Vincent Sheheen.
S.C. Senate District 27 (map here) contains parts of Chesterfield, Kershaw and Lancaster counties. Sheheen has represented it since February of 2004 – running unopposed in 2008, 2012 and 2016.
For those of you keeping score at home, Sheheen trounced S.C. governor Nikki Haley in his home district back in 2010 by a whopping 57.9 to 41.2 percent margin. In their 2014 rematch, however, Haley beat Sheheen in his own backyard – by a 50.6 to 47.5 percent margin.
That’s a huge swing …
“The Democrats will have to gerrymander to protect Sheheen in 2022,” one GOP source told us, adding the district was “turning more and more GOP.”
Obviously there’s no difference between (most) “Republicans” and Democrats in the fiscally liberal S.C. General Assembly. Hell, just look at the guy who wields near-absolute power over the chamber. And more importantly, look at the orgy of new spending (and unconstitutional borrowing) that has taken place under “Republican” rule.
Nonetheless, replacing an arch-liberal like Sheheen with someone like Reames who has demonstrated a genuine commitment to taxpayers would be a small step in the right ideological direction … assuming, of course, that Reames had any interest in the job.
So far, it’s not clear what his aspirations are …
(Banner image via Travis Bell Photography)