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Businessman Jay Kilmartin announces he'll run for SC House District 85

Chapin, SC 03/29/2022 (Paul Kirby) – Local businessman Jay Kilmartin announced Tuesday that he has filed to run for SC House District 85. The seat is being vacated by Chip Huggins who has decided not to seek reelection this year. Kilmartin’s first challenge will be against three other Republicans, Catherine Huddle, Rebecca Blackburn Hines, and Christian Stegmaier in the Republican Primary that is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14th, 2022.

Kilmartin says that his message and political platform is simple. The stands against the policies of the Biden Administration, believes in protecting individual freedoms, and supports the empowerment of the families of District 85. District 85 covers most of the Chapin and Irmo areas in Richland and Lexington Counties.

See a map of District 85 here.

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“Our country and our state are in crisis mode and the people of Chapin and Irmo deserve a representative who will fight every day for them,” Kilmartin said. “We cannot have candidates with platitudes. We must have conservatives who will uphold the constitution, end the possibility of mandates, rid our educational system of racist Critical Race Theory, give parents a choice in their child’s education, reform our election system, protect women in our everyday lives, be a sanctuary for the life of the unborn, and reverse the attack from the left on our values.”

Kilmartin, the current 3rd Vice Chairman of the Lexington County Republican Party, said that his run wasn’t something he had ever planned to do. “I had no idea that Chip (Huggins) wasn’t going to seek re-election. I could just enjoy life and watch things happen. My history of activism in the district and state for the values we believe in wouldn’t allow me to just sit back. We are at a point in time where we cannot just sit by and let the dominoes fall.”

Kilmartin is married to his wife Elizabeth, and they have two children - Ian and Rhys. They own and operate the local Melting Pot restaurant as well as other businesses. Ian serves in the US Coast Guard and Rhys attends Southeastern University.

The campaign can be reached at


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