State Sen. Hayes of Rock Hill formally launches re-election bid

Rock Hill’s longtime senator is seeking a seventh full term in the S.C. Senate, putting him on course for a primary fight with a former York County GOP chairman.

Wes Hayes announced Monday he intends to run for another four-year term in the Senate, holding his formal campaign kickoff event in the Magnolia Room at Laurel Creek.

Hayes formally filed for re-election last week, as did his opponent in the Republican primary, Wes Climer, who prior to his annoucement this month served as the chairman of the York County Republican Party.

“I’m anxious to continue talking to voters about the need to hold the line on gas taxes and finally passing Governor Haley’s ethics reform plan,” Hayes said in a news release Tuesday. “Our citizens deserve a conservative government that will get more done and is both transparent and accountable.”

Hayes has served in the Senate for almost 25 years, after serving six years in the House of Representatives.

A graduate of West Point, Hayes served in the 82nd Airborne Division before entering civilian life as an attorney, and eventually retired as a colonel from the Army National Guard. In 2006, the was named “Public Servant of the Year” by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, and in 2011 Furman University recognized him with the David H. Wilkins Award for Excellence in Legislative Leadership.

The Republican primary will be on June 14.

Bristow Marchant: 803-329-4062, @BristowatHome