Red Bank, SC (Brian Duncan) – Many of you may know that I ran in the Republican Primary on June 9th for the seat in the SC House that will be opening because Mac Toole decided to step back and not run again. I did not prevail in running for the seat but at least I stepped up and said I would be willing to put in the work to help. I offered my service to the people and they decided to go another way. My life still goes on and my family and I are just fine.
I am writing this not because I lost but because of the lack of character of one of the candidates that made it to the runoff that will be held on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020. That candidate is R.J. May! He will face long-time District 88 resident Mike Sturkie to see who will occupy Mac’s seat starting next year.
When this campaign began, I did not know Mr. May. I had heard of him and that’s the extent of it. Since I decided to run and throughout the primary race, I haven’t come to know him well but I have talked with him at the debate, welcomed him to the race, and would recognize him on the street if I saw him. What little I have come to know of about him is more than I would like to know!
I have never hidden the fact that I have run for office before. I ran against longtime incumbent Bobby Keisler, the man representing my area on Lexington County Council. Bobby is a great, honest man, a hardworking man with great character and integrity. I thought it was time for a change when I ran. That was a good clean race. I won most of the precincts in that campaign but lost the race by a slim margin.
Bobby Keisler served four more years and is retiring at the end of this year. Gene “Bimbo” Jones won the primary to take Bobby’s place and I know he is a great man who will represent us well too. Whether I won or lost isn’t my point. My point is that it was a good clean race and neither Bobby nor I attacked one another personally because these races aren’t personal. They are all about who most of the voters believe will do the best job for them.
In the campaign for House District 88, Mr. May came out slinging mud from the starting bell and hasn’t stopped. His main target was Mike Sturkie because he apparently thought Mike was the most competition for him. He has been relentless in sending mailers about Mike to voters in the district that are filled with half-truths, misleading statements, and sometimes outright lies! The man has taken old information and twisted and turned it to the point that he has tried to make Mike appears as if he were the Devil himself. To say the least, it has been sickening and infuriated many of the great people of House District 88! He treats us like we are dumb and need his help to decide if Mike is a good person or not! The voters of District 88 aren't stupid by a long shot and we don't need a man that's been here just a few years to tell us what to think or how to vote.
When I looked like I might become a threat, he turned his sights toward me. I am a retired veteran, a small business owner, and have a beautiful wife and family. He tried to dig up dirt on me and at one point insinuated that I was scared of handling the difficult task of representing us in Columbia. If he can’t find mud to throw, he scrapes up dirt, mixes it with water, and makes it up himself! Through this entire ordeal both Mike Sturkie and I have stuck to the issues and did not use personal attacks in our campaigns. Mr. May has attacked Mike Sturkie more and more than he’s ever talked about any issues. Just today, my mailbox was once again full of mailers from Mr. May and all were slamming Mike with negativity! You can guess where those went I bet.
Mr. May is a political consultant plain and simple. He’s run many races across our state and in others. If he says he’s in public relations, that is another of his twisted half-truths. He is in public relations for politicians he will be working alongside at the state house if he wins. My question is, will R.J. May be in Columbia representing us or will he be cutting deals with friends he’s been paid to help get elected? The same people who will pay him when it comes time for them to run again!
I didn’t know Mike Sturkie well at the beginning of this campaign. I have gotten to know him much better since the race started. I can tell you he is just like one of us. He’s lived a real life and lives always include mountains tops and valleys. Through life’s travails and triumphs, Mike has picked up knowledge that many of us wish could just be handed to us without going through any dark times. He is NOT a CHEAT, a SWINDLER, a LIAR, or any other the other things R.J. May has tried to make him out to be!
Call the man yourself. He has published his phone number regularly. It’s (803) 513-8899 if you can’t find it. Talk to the man himself and don’t believe the negative things R.J. May has said while flooding your mailbox with slick mailers or his attack ads on social media.
I implore you to do the right thing on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. Join me and my family in casting our vote for Mike STURKIE for House District 88. Pastor John Lastinger, another candidate who ran for the seat has now also endorsed Mike STURKIE as well.
On Tuesday, do what you think is right. I think it's right to cast my vote for Mike STURKIE for House District 88.
NOTE: This is the opinion of the writer and the staff of The Lexington Ledger makes no decision as to the validity of its content. We do not endorse any political candidate in any race.