In 2006, state Democratic Rep. Dennis Moss prevailed in a heated 2006 battle for the District 29 House seat with Republican Danny Stacy that ended with Stacy formally protesting the election.
On Nov. 4, the two will face off again for the District 29 seat. This year's race centers on financial issues, including Property Tax Relief Act 388, sales tax revenue, future state budget cuts and payday lending. The race has all the makings of another tight contest. Stacy believes he has the upper hand this time, citing the demographic changes within the district since 2006.
"More conservative people are coming in," he said. "District 29 is a rural, conservative district, and they deserve a conservative representative."
The incumbent doesn't expect a competitive election this time.
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"It was an open seat last time," he said, referring to Democratic Rep. DeWitt McCraw's decision not to seek re-election two years ago. "I think people have seen the job I've done over the past two years, and I don't expect it to be close."
Moss defeated Stacy in 2006 by only 60 votes, many of which Stacy claimed to be fraudulent. Stacy said more than 240 fraudulent votes were found during a probe of the District 29 ballots. By state law, a recount was required because the votes accounted for less than 1 percent of the 9,116 votes cast. The state eventually awarded Moss the District 29 seat.
Two years later, Stacy expects a different outcome. "We expect a win," he said.
Moss said his confidence never wavered during waning moments of the 2006 recount.
"I never had a doubt about it," Moss said. "The votes spoke for themselves. I wasn't fretful of that at all. I felt the county committees were accurate, and the state upheld their results."
District 29, one of the largest in the state, consists of parts of Cherokee, Chester and York counties.
State representatives serve two-year terms and are paid $10,400 annually.
Candidates at a glance
Age: 54, born Jan. 13, 1954
Occupation: Retired S.C. Highway Patrol sergeant
Family: Married, one child
Political experience: Two years in the state House of Representatives. Moss’ committee assignments were medical, military and public and municipal affairs.
Age: 64, born Oct. 27, 1943
Occupation: Owner of D.W. Stacy Company
Family: Married, four children
Political experience: Served on the Cherokee County school board from 1984-1988. He went up for re-election in 1988 but lost in a close race.
Where they Stand
Property Tax Relief Act 388:
Moss: “In good times the act would probably be sufficient. But economic shortfalls, and increased gas prices have lead to a decline in the sales tax. Work is currently being done by the state to adjust during these shortfalls.”
Stacy: “That needs to stay in place for a year or two to see the act’s future affects on the different needs of different districts.”
Moss: “They need to be regulated and the interest rate needs to be controlled, so the debt doesn’t get out of control for borrowers.”
Stacy: “That needs to be regulated, because a large portion of the people taking out these loans can get caught up in a spiral of debt.”
Sales Tax Revenue and future state finance cuts:
Moss: “We have to make sure education, health care and law enforcement are funded. All other areas should be looked into – you have to find something to cut to get 480 million off of a 7 billion budget.”
Stacy: “Everything should go on the table. I don’t think any one agency should be spared. I think all agencies need to justify their budgets. We need to protect education and prison, which are under funded. We have less guards and that’s basically putting those men and women in harms way. Tourism should be promoted and the amount of people on the Budget Control Board should be looked at, too.”