Local Election

Climer launches S.C. Senate challenge against Rock Hill’s Hayes


An incumbent lawmaker has drawn a challenger in this year’s primaries.

Wes Climer, the chairman of the York County Republican Party, announced Monday that he will be running for the S.C. Senate seat currently held by GOP Sen. Wes Hayes.

Climer plans to make a formal announcement at 10 a.m. Tuesday at his family’s hardware store, Mallard Hardware on Cherry Road.

Hayes has served in the Senate for almost 25 years, after serving six years in the House of Representatives. In his announcement, Climer calls himself a “conservative reformer, who is running to upend the broken status quo in Columbia.”

Climer previously worked as a congressional aide in the Washington offices of N.C. Congressman Patrick McHenry, Sen. Elizabeth Dole and Louisiana Congressman Bill Cassidy from 2006 to 2011, before becoming a financial consultant in 2011, first with Merrill Lynch and then with Wells Fargo. He has served as the chairman of York County’s GOP since 2013, but sent a letter to party members resigning his post early Monday to focus on his Senate bid.

Climer is a Rock Hill native and a graduate of Furman University.

Filing for state legislative races opens at noon on March 16. Party primaries will be held on June 14.

Bristow Marchant: 803-329-4062, @BristowatHome