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Representative Ryan McCabe is running for re-election in SC House District 96

Pelion, SC 04/02/2024 (Paul Kirby) – Representative Ryan McCabe is running for re-election in SC House District 96. McCabe lives in the Boiling Springs area of Lexington County on Old Charleston Road just off Calks Ferry Road. House District 96 covers some of the more rural areas of Lexington County. It stretches and bends to cover from Muddy Springs Road near the Town of Lexington, through the Red Bank area, includes a portion of the town of Gaston, all of Swansea, and Pelion, and stops at the Orangeburg and Aiken County lines.


McCabe, age 50, is an attorney that specializes in working on real estate issues, often Homeowner’s Associations and members of HOA organized communities. He graduated from Newberry College with a BA and then obtained his law degree from Campbell University. He and his wife Jennifer just celebrated their 24th anniversary and they have 5 children, Betsy Grace, Scarlett, Andrew, Juliana, and Luke. He comes from a family that was in the drywall and stucco business and recently said, “My wife and I teach our children that no matter what degree they obtain, you should also have a secondary trade to fall back on. I worked with my father in the drywall business and still have those skills today.”


McCabe is a far right conservative and a founding member of South Carolina’s Freedom Caucus that started small but has been growing in number every year. Currently, there are 17 members of the caucus from across the state. Three of the members are from Lexington County.


McCabe strongly believes in the right to life, the Second Amendment that gives Americans the right to keep and bear arms, limits on government spending and its size, limited infringement on a citizens’ personal rights, government medical mandates, and term limits just to name a few. He doesn’t believe that the government should hand out corporate welfare in the form of billion-dollar incentive packages to already wealthy corporations. In short, McCabe believes that government takes too much money out of the citizens’ pockets for things they have no business spending money on. “I think that we should keep as much money as we can in the taxpayers’ pocket. Let them and not the government decide what and how to spend their own money.”


In a recent interview, McCabe was asked how the legislature managed to pass a gas tax for roads and bridges several years before he was elected yet the roads in front of so many Lexington County citizen’s homes are still falling apart. Keep in mind that we are talking about state-maintained roads and not county or privately owned ones. “One of the issues are earmarks or pork,” McCabe explained. “Each year, the legislature passes a budget that has $1 billion dollars’ worth of pet projects for the members of the House and Senates home districts in it. They bring this money home to their area so that can get re-elected. If we could get a clean budget each year with that billion dollars for roads and bridges back in it for necessary expenses, we could repair our streets, highways, and interstates and give the people back their gas tax. We wouldn’t need it.” He went on to say, “That’s why I have never voted for the budget in its entirety.”


As you can imagine, this has not made McCabe a lot of new friends at the SC Statehouse in either party. In fact, groups are already attacking him on social media, and he believes that some of those attacks are from groups associated with the Republican party. “There’s one out there floating around that says I voted no to support additional help for law enforcement officers, school resource officers, teacher pay raises, and other crazy accusations like these. That’s absolutely not true and there’s a way to look at the correct record to see what I supported.” He continued by explaining that each year, the members of the House and Senate go through the budget and vote on each line item in it. There’s a record of that vote that you would need to know how to find to see but he can guide you to it. “After I voted to support all the things I’ve been accused of voting against, the House and Senate then has to vote on the budget as a whole. “Here’s where they trick the voters,” McCabe said. “Between the line-by-line vote and the vote on the entire budget, they go back and load the final budget down with those $1 billion dollars in earmarks. That’s why I have never voted yes on the budget as a whole. The end product is nothing like what we voted on when I voted yes for school resource officers and many other very worthwhile things.”  He said they’ve even changed the name of some pet projects money from earmarks and are now calling those by a different name. “This is the peoples’ business, and it is supposed to be transparent by law. Still, much of the legislature makes things they are doing so difficult to find in the records that you really have to spend a great deal of time searching it to know what’s happening each year. That’s really not very transparent.”


As a prime example of his point, you can easily GOOGLE State of South Carolina Budget 2023/2024. It will bring up the budget and you can scroll through. You can even click on specific items to see what they are. Still, it doesn’t show or explain to you what items make up that line or category. It may be there somewhere, but after several hours of on-line research, the staff of The Lexington Ledger was still not able to identify the earmarks in the budget yet the legislature passed and spent money on those pork projects somewhere. Remember, we are not talking a few dollars here or there, we are taking about a billion dollars a year.


He said that another problem with paving and repairing roads is a lack of qualified contractors to do the work. “Not just any contractor can or wants to do state road work,” McCabe stated. “For decades, the past state legislators allowed the roads and bridges to fall into their current state of disrepair. Now that they’re like that, the number of contractors just aren’t here. The ones who do that type of work can also jack their prices up for road work because of the shortage of contractors. Shortages of anything in demand always drives the prices up.”


McCabe also promised when he was elected that he would never take money from outsiders or lobbyist. “I make no secret of the fact that I take nothing so that no person or group can ever claim I owe them a favor. Honestly, if I took every free meal offered to me and every free drink lobbyist pushed my way, I’d be an overweight alcoholic. Some sort of gathering with food and drinks is literally held almost every day we are in session.” He also says that he does not accept campaign money from [RM1] special interest groups. “To keep you honest, it really is best to say I’ll take none of that at all,” he concluded.  


“I worked for the people of House District 96,” McCabe said. “Whether I agree with every one of those voters or not, I am at the statehouse to do what the majority of my constituents want. I believe if they knew their tax dollars were going to beautify a park in Charleston or Greenville or to renovate a building at a church to serve a specific community, they would want to know what they’re getting out of that. Still, things like that happen every year.”


McCabe says if he’s re-elected, he wants to continue to fight for what’s right. He pledges to never go along to get along even if that means he’ll vote against every full state budget presented while he serves. “The Freedom Caucus is growing because more members of the legislature are seeing what’s going on and know that it’s not right. I would appreciate your vote on June 12th in the Republican Primary so that I can keep up the fight for you.”


You can reach Representative Ryan McCabe by telephone at (803) 530-3084 or by email at If you have to leave a message, he will try to return your call or email that day.



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