State Rep. Tommy Pope, R-York, who gained national fame when prosecuting convicted child killer Susan Smith two decades ago, said he will run for U.S. Congress.
Pope, speaker pro tempore of the S.C. House of Representatives, made the bid official Monday, saying he was urged to run when current 5th District Congressman Mick Mulvaney was tapped to run President Donald Trump’s budget office. Mulvaney is expected to be approved.
“As soon as Mick Mulvaney is approved, I am in,” Pope said Monday.
Pope was the clear front-runner in a poll for the seat last month. Pope, 54, who left the 16th Circuit Solicitor’s Office a decade ago and now is a lawyer in private practice, said he and his family are “excited by the opportunity to serve.”
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Since Mulvaney was picked by Trump, Pope said he has been asked by many Republicans to consider a run.
Pope had previously announced a 2018 run for South Carolina governor, but that run now is “on hold,” Pope said.
Pope, who represents western York County in the S.C. General Assembly, joins fellow York County Rep. Ralph Norman and others in the crowded Republican field for the seat that will open after Mulvaney’s presumed approval.
Tom Mullikan, Kris Wampler and Sherri Few have also announced their candidacy for the position.