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By Stan Welch – After several weeks of consideration and contemplation, District 9 State Representative Anne Thayer has decided to remain in the House, instead of entering the race for the recently vacated State Senate seat held by Kevin Bryant.
“I gave it a lot of serious thought, but in the end, I decided that I had run for the House in the first place to achieve certain goals for the people of District Nine,” said Thayer in an interview with The Journal.
“I have spent six years building relationships and attaining a certain status with my colleagues. To abandon that and pursue a seat in the Senate would essentially start that whole process over. I just feel that I can spend those six years, or as many years as the voters grant me, much more productively by continuing my work in the House. For that reason, I will not be running for Senator Bryant’s seat.”
“I have also become strongly connected to the people of the District I serve, in the towns like Pelzer and West Pelzer and Williamston, for example. There are very good people there, and they are working very hard to make their towns better places to live and work. I would no longer serve those people if I was the Senator from District Three, and I would miss that.”
Thayer has had several legislative successes in the last two years, and is currently sponsoring or supporting five different bills before the House. Her work on children’s issues, especially those of foster children and those who care for them, has been a focus of her work.
Bryant’s election by the Senate to the office of Lt. Governor led several candidates to announce for his seat. Former Pendleton Mayor Carol Burdette, whom Bryant defeated last year, has declared, along with unsuccessful U.S. House candidate Richard Cash and former State Representative John Tucker.
Bryant was appointed Lieutenant Governor as a result of Governor Nikki Haley’s appointment by President Donald Trump to the post of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Her confirmation set off the latest incident of turnover in the office of Lt. Governor.
Ken Ard held the office but resigned in 2012 to face ethics charges. Senator Pro Tem Glenn McConnell, who was first in the order of succession, assumed the office and served for two years, before resigning to become the president of the College of Charleston.
Senator Yancey McGill finished out McConnell’s term, but declined to run for reelection, opening the door for Henry McMaster to win the office. He succeeded to the Governor’s Office upon Haley’s confirmation as U.N. Ambassador.
Bryant was elected by the members of the Senate after serving District Three for twelve years. Senator Hugh Leatherman resigned the office of Senate Pro Tempore to remove himself from the order of succession and thereby open the path for Bryant’s ascension. Leatherman then ran for the office of pro tempore and was elected once again.