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Another Upstate SC Legislative Showdown Looms

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LAWMAKER IN CROSSHAIRS …

Earlier this month we reported on efforts by a group of “Republican” politicos in Anderson County, South Carolina to take out influential S.C. ways and means committee chairman Brian White.

Electorally speaking, that is …

To read our report on those machinations, click here.

This week, another Upstate “Republican” incumbent appears to have found herself in the crosshairs … Phyllis Henderson of S.C. House district 21 (map).

First elected in December 2010, Henderson was unopposed in 2012 and 2016 and faced only token “Republican” opposition in 2014.  According to our sources, she won’t be so lucky next year.

Henderson’s votes in favor of a dubious gasoline tax increase are looming large over her reelection bid.

“I can think of plenty of GOP districts where that doesn’t hurt you – but this isn’t one of them,” a pollster familiar with the issue told us.

We agree …

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In addition to her gas tax vote, Henderson has also reportedly lost the support of much of her network at the S.C. State House – where she rolled with a clique of prominent female politicos.

What caused these rifts remains uncertain, but we spoke with several State House insiders who previously backed Henderson’s campaigns who say they will not support her in 2018.

Who is poised to exploit these vulnerabilities?

We’ve heard several names floated at this point, but the general sense is that any credible challenger would need to raise at least $100,000 for their bid (Henderson already has more than $40,000 available to spend on her reelection bid and would likely be able to raise twice that prior to the June 2018 primary).

All for a gig that pays $10,400 a year (with a $160 per diem).

We’ve run hot and cold with Henderson in the past but we generally like her on a personal level and respect her intelligence.  Obviously we strongly disapprove of her support for the gas tax hike, which we believe was unnecessary (and unconstitutional in its current form).

Stay tuned … sounds like this will be one of many contested races to keep an eye on in the months to come.

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