Sanford to tour area next week

Gov. Mark Sanford returns to Rock Hill next week during a 30-city barnstorming tour aimed at advancing his reform agenda.

Sanford, who spoke last month at a Rotary Club luncheon downtown, will visit Wilson's Nursery on West Main Street on Thursday at 12:45 p.m. Afterward, he'll stop in Chester for an appearance at Classic Metals before appearing in Lancaster at Harper Electric Supply.

"What too often gets lost in the shuffle when folks are reading about or seeing these ideas we've been advancing is that things like spending and government structure have a real impact on their lives," the Republican governor said recently. "And they are things that will have an impact on the lives of many generations to come if we don't act to reform our state now."

Sanford delivered a similar message in his speech to the Rotary Club, saying that too many people perceive him as a "libertarian wacko nut job who just hates government."

The reality, he said, is that making South Carolina competitive in the global economy requires tough decisions. For Sanford's allies, it also means taking on members of the state Legislature who don't support his agenda -- including some in the Republican Party.

A group called Reform SC is raising money that is expected to be spent on helping future candidates run against incumbents in both parties. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush headlined fundraisers for the group several weeks ago.

State Rep. Carl Gullick of Lake Wylie believes he's among those being eyed. A moderate Republican, Gullick has opposed the governor on school choice, among other issues. Gullick was elected to succeed Ralph Norman last year in District 48, which includes Fort Mill.

Sanford insists that Reform SC does not have a list of opponents it plans to target.