FITS: Mike Pitts Will Resign

Pitts' Facebook Statement: To the citizens of South Carolina House District 14: Thank you for the incredible honor and privilege of representing the finest citizens of South Carolina for the past 16 years. I have given you my best effort, standing firm on principle while building alliances to help lead our state forward. This is how a democratic republic is supposed to work. You may not have agreed with me at times, but you always knew with certainty where I stood on any issue. During my tenure, I have faced some harsh personal challenges with two rounds of cancer treatment, and on October 20 of this year, a heart attack and surgery. My doctors say I can make a full recovery in time, with patience, rehabilitation, a far less hectic schedule and a reduction in stress. Serving in an elected position becomes more stressful each year; as the poison of politics grows, so do the daily demands of constituents. Chairing the House Ethics Committee during an investigation into certain House members has been particularly stressful. With that said, based on the advice of my doctors and my family—to whom I want to express eternal gratitude for their support of my endeavors—I have decided I should retire from the legislature. My plans are to remain active in another capacity with a more singular focus and more manageable schedule to maximize my effectiveness. My retirement will be effective December 31, 2018, with an official resignation effective January 3, 2019. This will trigger a special election to fulfill the term for which I was just elected. To the handful with all the answers, here’s your opportunity to step into the arena. To those who don’t have all the answers but are ready to ask the right questions, I implore you to prayerfully consider public service. Family, friends and supporters, thank you again for the opportunity to make a difference. Together, we have. Merry Christmas and God bless you all. Sincerely, Representative Mike Pitts

W- FILING CALENDAR: Veteran South Carolina state representative Mike Pitts will resign his seat in the SC General Assembly next month to head up a government-run conservation organization AND in his own words.

 

The State Election Commissions has announced dates to fill the House District 14 seat that will become vacant on Jan. 3, 2019 (Mike Pitts retirement).

Counties:  Greenwood and Laurens

Short Calendar:

Filing Opens:  Noon, Friday, December 28

Filing Closes:  Noon, Saturday, January 5

Primary:  February 19

Primary Runoff:  March 5

Special Election:  April 23

 

Pitts – a native of Laurens, S.C. and a former officer with the Greenville, S.C. police department – has represented S.C. House District 14 (map) in Columbia since 2003.  Over that time, he has generated headlines on a number of fronts – most notably his advocacy on behalf of the Confederate flag during the contentious debate over its removal from the grounds of the S.C. State House in 2015.

In January, the Republican lawmaker will step down to become the next executive director of the S.C. Conservation Bank – an agency that has been dogged by controversy in recent years.

Funding for this program – which purchases privately owned land for conservation purposes – had been set as high as $22 million.  However, questionable appropriations from the fund angered state lawmakers – prompting them to slash its budget to just $5 million in recent years.

In the current fiscal year – which began on July 1 – the bank received $7.5 million.

There has also been controversy over the bank’s office budget, with S.C. governor Henry McMaster vetoing a proposed $220,335 addition to its existing $283,916 appropriation for staff and office expenses earlier this year.

Pitts, 62, will take on his new role just months after suffering a heart attack on a hunting trip to Montana.

His resignation will prompt a special election to fill the remainder of his ninth term in office – which he won in November without opposition.  In fact, Pitts had not been challenged for his House seat since 2012, when he handily defeated Democrat Ed Taylor.

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513 North Broad St.
Clinton, SC 29325
Phone: (864) 833-1900
Fax: (864) 833-1902

 

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