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Dean Wilder announces his candidacy for the South Carolina House of Representatives, District 85

Chapin, SC 02/15/2024 - Dean Widener, an Air Force veteran and former State Command Chief for the South Carolina Air National Guard, has officially announced his candidacy for the South Carolina House of Representatives, District 85. House District 85 covers parts of northern Lexington County and southwest Richland County. He is challenging incumbent Jay Kilmartin for the seat. Dean’s service to his country, state, and community is the foundation he will use to tackle the challenges needed to improve our community.

“For too long, politicians in Columbia have lost focus on the issues that actually matter to the people in this community and across the state. As a member of the SC House, I will listen to voters, fight for families, and work to keep us safe,” said Widener. “Serving this community means everything to me, which is why I will fight tirelessly for our values and the issues that matter most.”

Key issues Widener will focus on: 

  • Improve Infrastructure: Work alongside local leaders to find real solutions to our infrastructure problems while also protecting our natural resources. 

  • Improve the Education System: Give more money back to the classrooms, allow parents to choose where their child goes to school and ensure the appropriate things are being taught.  

  • Defend our 2nd Amendment: Allow our law-abiding citizens the ability to bear arms and address the mental health crisis by providing safeguards to those in need. 

  • Protecting Life: Fight to protect all life, expand healthcare and resources for women, and restore family values in our communities. 

  • Supporting our Veterans: Create more resiliency training to combat the rise in suicides from veterans and reduce the tax burden placed on our veterans. 

  • Making Public Safety a Priority: Expand the resources, and improve pay needed to first responders, as well as making Lake Murray safer for our community

  • Fix our Tax system: Ensure a balanced budget, lower property taxes, and update our outdated tax codes.    

Dean currently serves as the owner of Widener Life and Health in Chapin, SC, which helps to consult military veterans, and local citizens across the community on finding the best insurance possible. Before being the owner of Widener Life and Health, Dean was in the Air Force and served as the State Command Chief for the South Carolina Air National Guard.

Dean has also been elected as the President of the South Carolina National Guard Association, and an elected chairman in the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States. He also has the honor of being an active member of Chapin Christian Community Church.

Dean and his wife Lisa happily reside in Chapin, SC, where he is the proud father to his three children Savannah, Zachary, and Grayson, and stepfather to Spencer and Erin Sox. He is also the proud grandfather to Ellie and River Sox.

To learn more about Widener’s campaign,


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