A Republican primary election in Fairfield County? A rare occurrence indeed in the largely Democratic County of Fairfield, but two Republicans are vying for S.C. Senate District 17, which covers all of Fairfield and Chester counties and part of York County.
According to the Fairfield County Republican Party Web site, two candidates, Robert Carrison and Morgan Bruce Reeves, have emerged, and the victor will go on to challenge Winnsboro attorney and District 17 Democratic Senator Creighton Coleman or his primary election opponent Allen Bellavance of Fort Lawn. The partisan primary election will be held June 12.
The Republican Party is in the midst of a sort of Renaissance in Fairfield County. Over the last two years, they have made remarkable progress. In June of 2010, a small group of people met to get behind congressional candidate Mick Mulvaney, who went on to win in the S.C. District 5 contest against long-time incumbent John Spratt.
After the election filing deadline at noon on Friday, Fairfield County Republican Party Chairman Kevin Thomas spoke about Carrison and Reeves.
“Bob Carrison is a longstanding member of the community and has been very active in the Fairfield County Republican Party and currently serves as our Treasurer,” said Thomas. “He has been a tremendous asset as we have revitalized the Fairfield County Republican Party over the last two years.”
“Mr. Reeves contacted me a week before the filling deadline to inquire about running for several elected offices as a Republican, such as S.C. House 41, S.C. Senate 17 and even U.S. House District 5,” Thomas said. “That was my first interaction with Mr. Reeves. The only thing I knew about him was that he had run for Governor on the Green Party and United Citizens Party ticket in 2010. He has never been to a Fairfield County Republican meeting. He told me that he had moved to Winnsboro within the last six months. He informed me several days later that he planned to run for S.C. Senate 17. Per S.C. election law, Mr. Reeves submitted the appropriate paperwork to run for S.C. Senate 17. As Chairman of the Fairfield County Republican Party, I am obligated and have accepted his application to run for this seat.”
The Fairfield County Republican Party Web site provides some background information about the two men.
Robert Carrison of Winnsboro is married to Kathy, a teacher, and they have three sons and nine grandchildren. He has been a resident of Fairfield County for 28 years and received an Associates of Arts Degree in 1974 after serving two tours of duty in Southeast Asia in the U.S. Air Force from 1967-1971.
Carrison has been involved in the community as former small business owner of The News and Herald Tavern and has served on the Board of Directors for the Fairfield County Country Club and the Winnsboro Downtown Development Association. Carrison also spent four years on Winnsboro Town Council representing District 3.
For the Fairfield County GOP, Carrison served on the Fairfield for Mulvaney team in 2010, became acting treasurer in January 2011 and Treasurer three months later.
Morgan Bruce Reeves’ background is less clear. He ran for S.C. Governor in 2010 on the Green Party and the United Citizen Party ticket and ran for Irmo School Board in their 2008 election.
He made his first introduction to Fairfield County GOP Chairman Kevin Thomas by telephone on March 19, and has yet to attend a Republican Party meeting in Fairfield County.
“We apologize for a lack of information on this candidate, as he is new to the county and has not provided Chairman Thomas with anything more than filing papers and a check for the filing fee. If and when he supplies us with more information, this page will be updated,” the Fairfield County Republican Party Web site states.
A Google search on his name provides additional information on Reeves from his run for governor in 2010.
At that time, Reeves was 50, divorced and lived in Irmo, according to a questionnaire he filled out for television station WIS-TV. The statement said Reeves is an Irmo High School Graduate, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Planning and Development with a Minor in Business Administration from Michigan State University, a Masters Degree in Church Administration from the International School of Religion, a Ph.D. in Theology from the Institute of Christian Works in Burlington, Wash., a Doctorate of Divinity from Bernadean University, North Hollywood, Calif. and is a Certified Therapist and Counselor from the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling, Sarasota, Fla.
Reeves listed his profession as an NFL athlete, entrepreneur, senior pastor CEO of six A.M.E. churches, chief administrator and community center founder and volunteer counselor for the Department of Juvenile Justice.
For more information about the Fairfield County Republican Party or its candidates, visit www.fairfieldcountygop.net.