Politics & Government

State House Dist. 48: Candidates differ on role in House

The candidates for District 48 in the S.C. House of Representatives agree on many issues, but they disagreed at a forum Tuesday night on whether the new representative should solely put district needs ahead of state needs.

Republican Carl Gullick, former York County Council chairman, faces Democratic newcomer James Miller for the seat in the fast-growing district that covers most of Fort Mill, Tega Cay, Lake Wylie, and the northern part of Rock Hill.

Gullick, who served four terms on the County Council, said the district's mix of natives and new residents "needs experienced leadership to represent the district, not the rest of the state."

Miller, a newcomer to politics in his first campaign for any office, said local and state issues are important. "As the state goes, we all go," Miller said.

The area faces the potential of devastating losses in tax dollars from the increased sales tax that in 2007 will take the place of property taxes that benefit local school districts. Both candidates said the tax change could be catastrophic for York County. Both are opposed to school vouchers and are for a hike in the cigarette tax to pay for Medicaid costs.

In District 45, which covers a portion of eastern York County and the western half of the town of Fort Mill, Democratic Lancaster County Council Chairman Alston DeVenny faces Republican businessman Mick Mulvaney to fill the seat of retiring Democrat Eldridge Emory. The two sparred Tuesday on school vouchers, with DeVenny saying he "unequivocally" opposes vouchers while Mulvaney said vouchers have a limited role under certain circumstances.

In District 29, which covers much of western York County and some of Chester County, Democrat Dennis Moss faces Republican Danny Stacy for the seat to be vacated by the retiring Democrat DeWitt McCraw. Stacy said he is willing to look at vouchers and "any viable option" to improve education. Moss said he is against vouchers.