South Carolina state senator Katrina Shealy is refuting rumors that she will not seek another term in office in 2024, telling this news outlet she will seek a fourth term representing Lexington County in the S.C. Senate next spring.
“I’m not just running – I’m running with a vengeance,” Shealy told me on Tuesday.
“I have all intentions of running for re-election in 2024 barring any unforeseen circumstances,” Shealy added.
When I asked her what might constitute an “unforeseen circumstance,” Shealy fired back with a joke.
“Me dying,” she quipped.
Shealy, of Red Bank, S.C., told me the legislature has been abuzz with rumors she might step down due to the fact her husband, James Shealy, is battling Alzheimer’s disease.
“The rumors are not true of the probability I may not run due to family health concerns,” Shealy told me. “My husband and I have a great situation here on the farm and have plenty of family, friends and health care professionals around to support us.”
“We are like other families and can see the growing concerns they face,” Shealy continued. “I enjoy serving my state and my community. Jimmy and I have both dedicated our lives to public service and caring for others including children, families, veterans and those less fortunate. The struggles sometimes make you work harder.”
In announcing her decision to seek a fourth term, Shealy pointed to multiple issues – and state agencies – that she has been fighting to fix since becoming a leader in the S.C. Senate. Among those agencies? The S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice (SCDJJ) and the S.C. Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (SCDDSN).
“There is still plenty of work to be done for foster children, adoptions, DJJ and our disability community. I have just begun the fight on DDSN,” Shealy told me.
Shealy could face a primary opponent due to positions she took during the contentious debate over abortion last year. Among those reportedly being eyed as prospective candidate for her seat is state representative RJ May III.
May is reportedly being touted by GOP lawmakers who want him out of the S.C. House of Representatives, where he has emerged as a leader of the conservative wing of this ostensibly “Republican-controlled” chamber.
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Is May interested in running against Shealy? It certainly doesn’t look that way …
“Nobody has approached me about running for Senate but I am happy representing the people of (House) district 88,” May told me this week. “I have no plans to leave, I enjoy what we are doing here – making conservative changes to the way things are done in Columbia. We plan on making significant changes to the culture here, and I think the House is the best path to do that.”
Shealy, 68, was first elected to the S.C. Senate in 2012 – defeating incumbent “Republican” Jake Knotts as a petition candidate. She has caucused with the GOP ever since her election, and has won two terms as the Republican nominee for S.C. Senate District 23.
At the time of her election, Shealy was the only female member of the S.C. Senate. There are now five female senators in the 46-member chamber.
In addition to her legislative service, Shealy is well-known as an activist in the community. Her charity – Katrina’s Kids – provides assistance to foster children as well as children placed in group homes.
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.
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