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Local GOP ‘pleasantly surprised’ by Pope’s announcement to run for governor in 2018

S.C. House Rep. Tommy Pope’s announcement last week that he’ll run for governor in 2018 was a “pleasant surprise” to some local party affiliates.

Diane Carr, past president of the Clover-Lake Wylie Republican Women, said Pope has been a success in whatever he’s done.

“I did not know he was considering running,” Carr said. “That caught me off guard. It was a surprise, but a very pleasant surprise.”

Current club president Suzanne Krause sees Pope as a gubernatorial candidate with two major items checked off his list.

“In his favor is he’s a household name,” she said. “I’ve never heard a negative about him.”

Pope posted a photo on Facebook last week announcing his campaign. A June 4 video on confirmed the decision. Pope said he “can’t get over” the statewide support pouring in the first couple of days.

“I’m certainly going to take you up on your offers of support,” Pope said.

Pope stated in the video his attention won’t veer from his constituents in S.C. House Dist. 47, representing Clover and Lake Wylie.

“I am running for governor in 2018, at this point,” he said. “I have not forgotten that I represent House (Dist.) 47. Hopefully I’ll continue to for the next two years and if you’ll have me, the next four years.”

Pope gained national attention as prosecutor in the Susan Smith case, where a Union woman was convicted in 1995 of drowning her two sons. He currently works with Elrod Pope Law Firm with offices in Rock Hill and Lake Wylie, in addition to serving as state legislator.