South Carolina state representative Jay Jordan announced his candidacy this week for the S.C. Senate seat vacated earlier this month by the passing of powerful legislative leader Hugh Leatherman.
Jordan, 41, of Florence, S.C. is an attorney who ran unsuccessfully for the S.C. seventh congressional district in 2012. Three years later, however, he won a special election to the S.C. House of Representatives – where he has represented the citizens of House District 63 for the past seven years.
He is currently serving as chairman of the House “ethics” committee, a self-policing panel that is notorious for glossing over the misdeeds of sitting lawmakers.
In announcing his candidacy, Jordan paid homage to the fiscal liberal whose seat he hopes to inherit.
“Florence and Darlington have been tirelessly represented by Hugh Leatherman for over forty years,” Jordan said. “The Senator left a legacy of accomplishments that will continue to better our state and region for generations to come.”
Wait … what?
Leatherman was a fiscally liberal “godfather of pork” who left behind a legacy of anti-competitiveness on multiple fronts – so Jordan’s contention that he somehow “bettered our state” is a major red flag.
In fact, after offering up such a whopper I am having trouble taking anything else Jordan says seriously …
Two months before Leatherman died, a national group ranked South Carolina as the “most liberal red state in America,” and listed the 90-year-old politician as the second-most liberal member of the S.C. Senate.
Nonetheless, Jordan claims he wants to channel Leatherman in representing the people of the Pee Dee – a region that continues to lag behind the rest of the state on multiple fronts.
“It is with that same tireless dedication and duty to our community that I am running for State Senate,” Jordan said. “The Pee Dee region is counting on a proven conservative leader with the experience to deliver results and be their voice in the Senate, and I will be just that.”
Jordan enters the race with the backing of local establishment figures including state representative Phillip Lowe, Florence County council chairman Willard Dorriety, Florence sheriff TJ Joye and Fred Carter, president of Francis Marion University.
Carter was one of Leatherman’s top allies – and one of the primary beneficiaries of his pork barrel spending.
In addition to this group of insiders, Jordan also has the support of former S.C. lieutenant governor Ken Ard, one of the Pee Dee’s most influential figures owing to his popular morning show on Live 95 in Florence, S.C.
Jordan is not the first candidate to file for this seat. Last week Mike Reichenbach, the former chairman of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce (GFCC), announced his intention to seek this office. Reichenbach is campaigning as “a political outsider, businessman, and job creator,” according to his campaign announcement.
Jordan? He is clearly going “full Kook,” as the cool kids say …
Leatherman’s death earlier this month triggered a special election for S.C. Senate District 31 (.pdf). That process will begin this Friday (December 3, 2021) when filing formally opens for partisan primaries. A special primary election will be held on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 with the special election itself scheduled for March 29, 2022.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (including that “We Are Family” Pittsburgh Pirates’ lid pictured above).
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