Letter to the Editor - November 23, 2017
‘The agent of change is Mark Smith’
On Nov. 28 we have a very important runoff election for SC House District 99 and the Daniel Island community. As a former candidate in the Republican primary for the District, I have experienced how important it is that we send a highly qualified and ethical representative to Columbia.
For nearly a year, House District 99 has been vacant resulting from the Statehouse Probegate investigations. Our Republican nominee will face serious scrutiny by the Democratic Party and its candidate. If the Republican Party, voters, candidates, and the media have not done the work of vetting our candidates and their messages, conservatives are setting ourselves up for a difficult battle in January.
I ran as an agent of change to curb cronyism and corruption in Columbia and can say unequivocally that the agent of change is Mark Smith. Seven weeks ago, I knew none of the other three candidates. I have gotten to know Mark through the campaign and been impressed with his knowledge of the issues, his decency, and his commitment to ethics reform.
Mark understands the infrastructure issues that are important throughout our district. He lives the traffic nightmare of Highway 41 and Clements Ferry Road twice a day, every day. Mark has a proven record of supporting both the widening of Highway 41 while serving on Mount Pleasant town council and necessary drainage infrastructure improvements to tackle flooding problems. He is a graduate of unique infrastructure training by the Municipal Association of SC and has attended national water and sewage infrastructure symposiums to strengthen his knowledge and skills in these areas. His opponent has no hands-on experience or proven record of improving infrastructure.*
Mark lives the importance of small business in SC as a proven job creator of 40+ high quality jobs and owner/operator of McAlister-Smith Funeral Homes and Palmetto Cremation Society with locations across Berkeley and Charleston counties. He has a documented track record as a successful businessman who has expanded his operations from one to five locations and increased the number of Berkeley and Charleston county residents he employs offering full benefits and 401k. It appears to me that his opponent has consistently operated in the political realm as a political consultant, former US Senate candidate, and Trump campaign operative with less business background than is advertised.*
Let me be very clear on another matter. I have heard a few islanders say they were concerned that Mark doesn’t live on the Island. That is silly. Mark has been serving our island since it started through cooperative local government actions and both his businesses. He has our and the district’s back. A vote for Mark Smith is a vote for Daniel Island.
Actions speak louder than rhetoric. Mark walks the walk. I propose we send a representative to Columbia with a proven record of success in business who has consistently and generously served the community. Please help me send that agent of change to Columbia and join me on Nov. 28 to vote Mark Smith for SC House District 99. I welcome your questions about why I am supporting Mark.
Former SC House District 99 Candidate
*Runoff candidate Nancy Mace offered the following response to claims made by Mr. Brooks about her, as Smith’s “opponent,” in his letter:
Most of my professional experience over the last nearly 20 years has been in business and technology consulting, from startups to top tier companies of all sizes. Three years ago I made a career change. In fact, my entire salary for this year came from my business, not politics. Any statements to the contrary are just false. I believe the State House is missing people who can bring valuable analytical business skills to the table. I’m also passionate about making a difference in our community. I’ve been active as a volunteer and sometimes campaign staff for folks like US Senator Tim Scott, former Congressman Mick Mulvaney and even President Trump. But I’m not a political consultant, and never have been. And that’s precisely what’s wrong with politics today. Politicians, or their surrogates, will try to smear their opponents or lie, cheat and steal, they’ll do and say just about anything if they think it’ll get them elected. I’m eager to bring a different perspective to the table. One based on the value of hard work, bringing positive, substantive positions on important policies and delivering outcomes for District 99. I’ve laid out my policy proposals directly to the voters of District 99, including policies on how to tackle our infrastructure crisis. I humbly ask for your support on Tuesday, Nov. 28.
House District 99 Candidate
‘I will support Nancy Mace’
Last Tuesday, the residents of House District 99 went to the polls to elect a new state representative. There were four of us in the Republican Primary race and one person - Nancy Mace - came within a handful of votes of winning the election outright. After careful consideration, I will support Nancy Mace in the run-off to be our next state representative. Here’s why.
Nancy worked hard to earn the votes cast in her favor. I believe she will continue to work hard to deliver on her promises to improve our infrastructure, to deal with the nuclear plant fiasco, to lower our taxes, and to bring needed accountability to Columbia. Following the election, Nancy thoughtfully listened to my ideas and asked serious questions about how we can work together to improve our community. She will continue to reach out to community leaders in a collaborative approach to governing.
On a personal note, I know Nancy. I’ve sat poolside with her and her children at Pierce Park and we have talked about a number of issues. Nancy is a conservative and believes in limited government. She has been successful in her business ventures and is determined to be an effective advocate for us. And she is tough, evidenced by her graduation from The Citadel. Although the election did not turn out the way I hoped, I want to sincerely thank those who supported me. I urge you to join me in voting for Nancy Mace on Nov. 28.
Former Candidate for House District 99