Incumbent Senator (R) Greenville District 5
With Greer being the largest city in the district, there was initially a question in my mind how well a representative from Tigerville would serve the interests of our citizens.
We had been used to Verne Smith, Lewis Vaughn and Phil Shoopman, all of whom lived in Greer, delivering top-notch service to our city as well as the entire district.
To be sure, Senator Corbin and I butted heads almost immediately on a bill that passed that was peddled to him by more experienced legislators as something good for Greenville County. I believe Tom learned a valuable lesson from that incident: trust your local government leaders before you trust Columbia politicians, even those in your own county legislative delegation.
Now we are bombarded by a candidate/lawyer from the absolute farthest northeast corner of the district who portrays himself as a white knight coming in to rescue our district (with signs likely on private property without permission). I do not know this man, and prior to his running for the senate, I don’t remember seeing him at Family Fest, Octoberfest, Freedom Blast or any other Greer event. He likely spent his time in Landrum, Tryon and Spartanburg. I have since met him twice while politicking in Greer. He definitely reminds me of a lawyer/politician.
I have never liked, nor have been influenced by endorsements, but he has garnered the endorsement of 4 local mayors, only 3 of which are in the district. If our representation is so bad, why did these 3 other mayors not run for the office?
Many of the people who oppose Tom seem to have a specific issue with him, not always concerning the way he executes the duties of his office; sometimes it’s personal. Some of the issues I have heard are complaints about service to his constituency. Not that he failed to help them, but that he succeeded in helping only a portion of them. That’s a bad thing? I see his constituents every day and they praise him as a good man whom they trust and admire.
When I first ran for Greer City Council, I knew what I wanted to do: hold the line on larger government and more government spending, deliver excellent service to all citizens of Greer and make Greer the best place it could be. Sixteen years later I am still learning how to do all of this, and I would be lying if I told you these things are easy to do. It takes time and relationships to affect change.
I believe Tom can be trusted as a God-fearing, Constitution-supporting honest conservative who can continue to build longevity and influence in the Senate to regain some of the clout for the upstate that we have lost in the last decade.
• Wryley Bettis is a Greer City Councilman representing District 5
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