Former SC lawmaker may challenge Mulvaney for Congress

adys@heraldonline.comNovember 5, 2013 

Boyd Brown says he has been approached by people to consider running against Rep. Mick Mulvaney.

Democrat Boyd Brown, who once represented part of Chester County in the S.C. House, is considering running against U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-Indian Land.

Brown, 27, lives in Fairfield County and works for a property firm in Columbia. When he was first elected to the Legislature in 2008 at 22, he was the youngest legislator in America. He did not seek re-election in 2012, saying he wanted to focus on finishing law school.

Brown has not decided to run, he said Tuesday, but has “been approached” by people about challenging Mulvaney. He spoke to York County Democrats Tuesday night in Fort Mill.

“I haven’t made a decision yet,” Brown said. “But I am not satisfied with the lack of leadership from the current representative.”

A spokeswoman for Mulvaney, who handily defeated 28-year incumbent Democrat John Spratt in 2010 and won in a landslide in 2012, declined to comment.

Mulvaney voted last month against the agreement that ended the federal government shutdown. He has said the GOP strategy of forcing the shutdown in an ultimately unsuccessful effort to delay or weaken the Affordable Care Act was “worth it.”

Mulvaney was in the middle of the “current controversy” over the shutdown, Brown said, and has “stirred up” people with his vote.

More than 860 pre-kindergarten students in York, Chester, Lancaster and Union counties lost several days of class time when the shutdown closed Head Start programs. Private donors paid for classes to start again before the shutdown ended.

The Kings Mountain National Military Park in western York County canceled anniversary events when national parks were closed during the shutdown.

On his Facebook page, Brown called the shutdown “childlike gamesmanship.”

“A lot of bad things happen when partisan politicians put their political wants over the needs of the American people,” he wrote.

Brown has been critical of Mulvaney before, and while in the Statehouse, he opposed the politics and policies of Mulvaney’s fellow tea party conservatives, including Gov. Nikki Haley and former Gov. Mark Sanford.

A candidacy by a young, energetic candidate might be the only hope Democrats have to unseat Mulvaney in what most political observers see as a reliably conservative 5th District, said Rick Whisonant, political science instructor at York Technical College who has studied South Carolina politics for three decades.

Democrats have been handed an opportunity to try to reclaim some seats in the wake of the shutdown, Whisonant said, but the six congressional seats seats held by Republicans in South Carolina are likely “safe.”

“Young blood, new blood is what is needed if Democrats are going to have any hope at all to grab this seat,” Whisonant said.

Andrew Dys •  803-329-4065

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