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Cayce man challenging Nikki Setzler for SC Senate District 26

Cayce, SC (Paul Kirby) – Chris Smith, 64, is challenging Senator Nikki Setzler for the senate seat he has held for decades. Setzler is the only elected Democrat representing Lexington County that lives here in the County. There are other Democrats in other counties whose district’s include small parts of ours, but most of their districts have predominately Democrat voters.

Smith says he had been considering running against Setzler for some time. A devout Christian, Smith says he made his decision after consulting with an inner circle of fellow Christians, friends, and advisors. He also sought God’s will in the decision to run.

According to Smith, Setzler and he have known each other for some time. They both attend Trinity Baptist in Cayce where Smith has been a member for 30 years. Referring to Setzler as a senator, Smith said, “He’s a likable guy," that is what everyone asked about Nikki Setzler says. People always say, “He’s a nice guy,” or “I really like the man,” but according to Smith, none speaks of what he has done for the citizens of District 26. Smith said referring to Setzler, “He may try to fool people into thinking he’s a conservative, but when you look at his record and actions, he’s a liberal Democrat and always has been. That will never change!” Smith says he is a Republican and Constitutional Conservative to his core.

Smith says he is a true Conservative, both in policy and fiscally. His strong Christian values are his credentials. He is for the right to life and thinks that abortions should not happen in South Carolina or anywhere for that matter. He says that the SC House passed the Heartbeat bill in 2019 which was pro-life, but when that bill got to the senate where Setzler is a senior member, it never was brought to the floor for a vote.

Smith believes that the constitutions of America and South Carolina should not be interpreted by liberals or anyone to fit their own ideas. He says the constitution should be read and adhered to exactly as the founding fathers wrote it. He believes it is a literal step-by-step guide for running the affairs of the nation and our state.

Smith opposed the gas tax for road repairs passed after the 2015 floods. Smith thinks the floods just highlighted the roads’ issue. He believes SC's roads had been ignored by the legislature for years and repairs were possible without further taxing South Carolinians. He explained that when he spoke to Setzler about that, he listened but then voted for the $.16 per gallon gas tax increase anyway. Smith says the roads are still in terrible shape and repairs are too slow. “As one of his constituents, Nikki Setzler represents the people of District 26. That includes me. When he voted for the tax increase, he certainly didn’t represent my values true conservative values or those of most of the people of District 26!”

According to Smith, Senator Setzler also supported the Base Load Review Act. This allowed SCE&G and Santee Cooper, the state-owned utility company, to raise rates repeatedly to fund two nuclear reactors being built in Jenkinsville, SC. SCE&G already had a successful reactor producing power there for decades. Smith said Setzler sat idly by while the utility companies raised rates repeatedly, even after red flags began to be pop-up regarding mismanagement of the project. Eventually, the whole project was abandoned, and SCE&G had to sell out to Dominion Energy to save itself from bankruptcy. Lies, incompetence, and corruption in the construction stopped after ratepayers spent billions on the project. Now, the sites sits like a big gaping money pit while many of the corporate elite have been paid multi-million dollar settlements as they made their exits from the boondoggle.

Smith retired from American Airlines and now is a licensed real estate broker. He is also a licensed residential builder. He is not married and has a daughter who’s 31. He currently has no grandchildren. He has spent a great deal of his time organizing charitable, Christianity based events and observances.

Smith has held many leadership positions in the past and to date. He is the regional coordinator for the National Day of Prayer, is active in Promise Keepers as state director and an ambassador. He is also a founding member of Citi Lights ministry, the group who brought the Tony Evans Crusade to Williams Brice. He was an evangelical leader and prayer captain for that event. He was also event manager for the 1998 Promise Keepers Conference at the stadium and event coordinator for the Easter Sunrise service at Williams Brice in 2000. There are many other positions he has held that are centered around his strong Christian faith.

To learn more about Smith or to contact him and talk, call his cell phone at 803 422-6332. You can also check out his Facebook page at Chris Smith for Senate 26.

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