I recently found out my SC State Senate district had changed. I was formerly in the 5th Senate district, and my Senator was Phillip Shoopman. I thought my choice in the upcoming primary was between Tom Corbin, Amanda Somers, and Wyatt Miler, who are all competing for the seat being vacated by Shoopman.
However, without much announcement, when district lines were redrawn post 2010 Census, the 12th district from Spartanburg was extended to include my area in eastern Greenville County. Turns out my Senate candidates are Lee Bright and John Hawkins.
Honestly don’t know much about these two, but I thought I’d do some checking and post for anyone else needing a crash course to make a decision before primary day. First of all, you should check out their web sites, linked above. Second, just a thought, but Hawkins came through my neighborhood a couple weeks ago (how I learned my district had changed!) and told me he thought we needed “change in Washington and Columbia.” His signs say “A New Senator.” It turns out, however, Hawkins WAS the District 12 Senator for 8 years, from 2001 to 2009, when he was replaced by Bright. So we need to get change and a new senator by going back to the previous senator? I have a hard time wrapping my head around that one!
I went on to look for more info about Bright and Hawkins, and found scorecards from South Carolina Club for Growth, an organization concerned with free market, pro-growth economic policies. Their score for Hawkins in the 2007-2008 session (his last) was 50.4 (of possible 100), for a grade of C-. Bright, on the other hand, received a score of 100 on both the 2009-2010 and 2011 scorecards (as did Kevin Bryant in District 3)! Certainly a difference. SC Club for Growth has even gone so far as to endorse Lee Bright in this race, and point out his 100% score in 29 votes over 3 1/2 years.
More searching revealed Bright had the highest score of any senator on Palmetto Liberty’s 2011 Score card . As only 2011 was scored, Hawkins was not evaluated there. Haven’t been able to find any scorecards on social/family issues.