Almost at the same time U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-Indian Land, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as President Trump’s budget director, a state legislator resigned his seat in the S.C. State House to run to replace him.
Rep. Ralph Norman, R-York, formally resigned his House seat on Thursday, the same morning Mulvaney was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the new director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Norman said the timing was no coincidence – he wants the special election to replace him in Columbia to play out on the same schedule as the congressional race in South Carolina’s Fifth District.
“I saved the taxpayers to $25,000 to $55,000 by having the election at the same time,” Norman said moments after handing in his resignation letter to House Speaker Jay Lucas.
Plus, “I think it’s unfair to take a paycheck from the taxpayers while I’m running.”
Legislators are paid up front for their attendance at the annual legislative session in Columbia. Norman said he would cut a check for the portion of the $10,400 for which he didn’t work this year, which will go back into the state’s general fund.
Among the declared candidates for the Fifth District is Norman’s fellow York County lawmaker, House Speaker Pro Tempore Tommy Pope. Pope has not indicated if he plans to resign. Requests for comment were not immediately returned.
Norman is a Rock Hill real estate developer who has served in the State House since 2009. He previously served in the Legislature from 2005 to 2006, when he lost a bid to unseat then-Congressman John Spratt in the Fifth District.
He touts his business experience and voting record in the State House as separating him from the rest of a crowded field.
“If you liked Mulvaney’s record, you’ll love mine,” Norman said.
FILLING A 5TH DISTRICT VACANCY
The 5th District covers all of Cherokee, Chester, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Union and York counties, as well as portions of Newberry, Spartanburg and Sumter counties.
Filing to run for the seat will begin March 3 and continue for 10 days. The primary would be on May 2, the runoff on May 16 and the general election on June 20.
SOURCE: S.C. State Election Commission