In the upcoming June 12 primary election, voters in State Senate District 17 race will have both Democratic and Republican candidates to choose from. The seat, currently held by Winnsboro attorney Creighton Coleman, encompasses all of Fairfield and Chester counties, as well as a portion of York County.
Coleman is being challenged by fellow Democrat Al Bellavance of Ft. Lawn. Two Republicans will also face off in the primary, Robert Carrison of Winnsboro and Bruce Morgan Reeves of — ?
Reeves visited The Herald Independent office last week for an interview and to provide some information about himself. The remaining candidates will be featured in upcoming issues.
Reeves began the conversation with an undated photo of a football play and saying he was one of the players.
“I was a running back at Michigan State in 1979,” Reeves said as he handed over a business card. “I was a 12th-round draft pick to the Detroit Lions and was a starting kick-off returner for the Baltimore Colts. I was in the Pro Hall of Fame Bowl in 1981 in Canton, Ohio.”
The business card said, “Dr. Morgan Bruce Reeves, Candidate for Governor of S.C. Former NFL Athlete.”
Reeves was a candidate for Governor in 2010, representing both the Green and United Citizens parties. He also ran for a seat on the Lexington 5 School Board at the same time, as well as in 2008. He was not elected.
While Reeves did not provide any written information about himself, he had a disc of photos, including a picture of a large home he said was worth $2 million that he said had been his before a divorce. He said his wife got their Rolls Royces as well.
Reeves stated he owns a site work company. Another photo on the disc was of a business card that said “Reeves Group, LLC.” According to the S.C. Secretary of State’s website, the business is located at 1650 Kennerly Road in Irmo, the same address Reeves listed as his home address when he ran for Governor and Lexington 5 School Board.
“I want Winnsboro to know I am completely qualified,” said Reeves. “The people in Winnsboro, when they vote, need to know about their candidate. What are their strengths? I am more than just a football player. I am offering myself to work for the people of Fairfield County. I ran for the highest position in the state. My platform is basically the GOP Web site.”
Though prompted several times, Reeves would not say where he lives currently. The S.C. Constitution, Article III Section 7, states that a candidate for the Senate or House of Representatives must be a legal resident of the district in which he is a candidate at the time he files for the office. The Fairfield County Voter Registration and Elections Office said that on Feb. 2, Reeves registered to vote with the address of 119 Cedar Creek Extension in Winnsboro. The State of S.C. Application for Voter Registration form requires that one solemnly swear that he or she is a resident of S. C., the county and the precinct of the address claimed. The form further states that the present address listed must be his or her sole legal place of residence and no other place is to be claimed as a legal residence.
The home on Cedar Creek Extension appears under construction, but the construction seems to have been halted some time ago. An electric meter is onsite, but is not running. The Fairfield County Property appraiser’s Office has the property listed as unimproved/vacant, and it is owned by Sharod Reeves, Morgan Bruce Reeves’ son.
“I’m moving up here. I’m in transition,” is all Reeves would say when asked about his residency. “Everybody has a campaign strategy. I have a motor home. I live at that property. I pay taxes here.”
The Fairfield County Tax Collector’s Office provided information showing property taxes for the land were not paid for 2011. The matter is now in the delinquent tax office.
A contact at the Department of Motor vehicles said both Morgan’s and Sherod’s drivers licences currently list 1650 Kennerly Road in Irmo as their address, the same address Reeves listed on the S.C. Ethics Commission website when he ran for Lexington 5 School Board in 2008 and 2010. The Lexington County Property Appraiser’s website shows no property owned by either Morgan or Sherod there.
Reeves said his full biographical information is available on the Green Party of the United States Web site. The information there about Reeves states he is an Irmo High School graduate, received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Urban Planning and Development and 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. His athletic awards and achievements, according to the Web site, include being an All American athlete in football and track and field at Irmo High School, receiving a four-year football scholarship to Michigan State University, playing football for the Detroit Lions and Baltimore Colts and playing in the Pro Hall Of Fame Bowl Canton, Ohio in 1981.
The Web site said his community service experience includes working as a volunteer minister and counselor for the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice, serving as a former pastor of six churches in S.C., that he is the founder and president of the M.B. Reeves Community Unity Scholarship Foundation, is the former president and present Board Member of the Willing Workers of Irmo, president of the Varsity ‘S’ Student Alumni Fundraising Organization at Michigan State, that he served on the Booster Club and donated $100,000 for campus improvement for Allen University.
Reeves’ business experience on the Web site said he established, developed and managed a construction land-clearing company that has provided jobs for children during the summer.
According to GuideStar.org, there is no non-profit named the M.B. Reeves Community Unity Scholarship Foundation.
The Web sites www.NFL.com and ProFootball.com do not show Reeves’ involvement on a professional football team. A call to the Indianapolis Colts’ and Detroit Lions’ public relations departments both verified Reeves never played a down in a regular season game, which is what qualifies someone to be able to call one’s self a former NFL athlete, they said.
The Reeves plan for reshaping Fairfield County
“We need to improve the education system,” Reeves said. “I have served with one of the best school boards, Lexington 5, on the Superintendent’s Task Force as a volunteer. Parents and students say there is nothing to do here. I can get the money to get an automotive repair school here at Midlands Tech, but I won’t say where the money will come from until I get elected. I am a football player, a businessman and a salesman. I have the time to help. I am retired. We need a full scale trade school to serve York, Chester and Fairfield counties. We need auto mechanics. All students don’t want to go to college. When I am elected, they will all go to college, a trade school or into the military.”
“I would not just put up laws and vote at the State House,” Reeves continued. “Look at all these empty buildings. We need jobs through education. I would like to make Fairfield County the highest district in South Carolina and America. We need stability at the Superintendent position. I do pray that the community selects qualified school board members. The board members need more training. People need to not vote for their friends, but vote to get qualified people.”
“I have studied all of the school districts in the state,” he said. “I’ve worked hard at getting educated. I am offering myself to work for the people of Fairfield County. I ran for the highest position in the state.”
Reeves on economic development
“My goal is to increase the enrollment at Midlands Tech to 200-300 students. I’m going to get these children off the streets,” he said. “I am a volunteer at DJJ. I have a non-profit scholarship foundation. I have a degree in urban planning and a minor in business. I want to bring a bowling alley here. There will be security and the children will have somewhere to go. I can get a bowling alley here. I am looking at the Bi-Lo shopping center.”
“The automotive students will build engines and race go-carts and motorcycles at a new dirt racetrack. It will be at the Mac Truck facility and will be twice the size of the stadium at the high school. We will charge admission and people will come from all over the state. That will increase the tax revenue. That’s what a senator should do. There should be a theatre here for young ladies so they can ready themselves for things like ‘American Idol.’ These are three instant businesses that will come here for education. This will all be done in my first year.”
Asked how he would find money to pay for these ideas, Reeves again said he said he wouldn’t give that information away until he is elected.
Reeves on Fairfield Memorial Hospital and Fairfield County’s water issues
“I love a hospital that fights off diseases with a good emergency room,” Reeves said. “We are going to have the best hospital here. I love the senior citizens. Children and senior citizens are my favorite. We need to build more water towers. DHEC should test our water weekly or monthly. We should compare our water with Columbia and Lexington County.”
“I’m going to put the talents of the people together here,” Reeves said. “Education is the key to the future. This town is perishing because the elected officials do not have the time or knowledge to fix it. We are going to remodel every town in this county. That is not a big job to me. Tell anybody living in a dilapidated home to call me and I will work with the churches, local government and private sector. We will have no dilapidated homes in this county. Nobody will be without water or heat. The students at Midlands Tech will work like the pharaohs of Egypt. I want to spread love and harmony through this county.”
“I’m fighting for you,” Reeves said in conclusion. “Ask yourself a question — shouldn’t you fight for me? I’m not only asking for the Republican vote, but the Democrats’ also. I want the community to know that Superman is here.”