Burgess announces for Senate District 4 seat

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Local businessman and current Williamston Council Member, Rockey Burgess has formally announced his candidacy for the S.C. Senate 4th District seat. Burgess spoke to a group of about 20 people gathered to hear his announcement at the Williamston Municipal Center Friday.

“I believe the best government is that which governs least,” Burgess said. “The citizens of this state demand that their government be held accountable to the citizens that it represents, to have open and transparent dicussion about the issues that affect their lives, and to operate within the confines of a balanced budget that serves the needs of the citizenry while not overburdening the taxpayer.”

“Citizens demand that any taxes or fees collected by the state be used appropriately and for the purpose specified in the law.”

Burgess laid out a simple platform stating that SC income tax rate of 7 percent is more than the North Carolina rate of 5.75 percent and Georgia at 6 percent and that the state income tax needs to be competitive with neighboring states for SC to grow economically and produce more jobs.

He said state infrastructure needs to be addressed, particularly roads and highways. Burgess said he supports the governor’s proposal to increase the gas tax, but only if it is offset equally by a cut in the income tax.

He also said his experiences as a member of town council have enlightened him on the importance of local government, and that is is important that the state legislature provide each municipality with the tools and the freedom to effectively and efficiently govern citizens.

The announcement was followed by  a question and answer session with the audience .

Burgess, 40, said he is a conservative Republican. He was elected to Williamston Town Council in April 2013. He is a lifelong resident of Williamston and small business owner. He is a board member of Envision Williamston and chairs the Ordinance Review Committee.

Candidate filing for the District 4 Senate seat opens Jan. 22 and closes Saturday, February 20. The Special Election to fill the unexpired seat left open by the unexpected death of Senator “Billy” O’Dell last week, will be held on May 17.

More details on his comments during the announcement and answers to questions asked by some of those attending will be included in a more detailed new story about the announcement in next weeks Journal.