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White's Move from Ways & Means a Loss for Upstate

By Greg Wilson/Anderson Observer

S.C. Rep. Brian White, R-Anderson, will no longer chairman of the powerful South Carolina House Ways and Means Committee when lawmakers return in 2019.

“The Speaker told me the Republican Caucus was not happy with my leadership of the committee and that he wanted to make a change to a chairman that would carry out the caucus agenda,” White said in a prepared statement.  

“I have always tried to do what’s right for the state and the people of South Carolina without regards for political considerations,” White said. “I’m proud of the accomplishments I leave behind. I wish the next chairman the best.”

Local leaders say the move will be a loss for the Upstate and for the people of South Carolina.

“When I heard about this shift in power, the first thing that came to my mind is that the Upstate is losing a very important position in the statehouse,” said Susan Bridges Aiken, Chairman of the Republican Party Third District. “Now the power shifts to the Pee Dee.”

Aiken is referencing the geographic location of White’s replacement, Rep. Murrell Smith,  Sumter, of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Rep. Hugh K. Leatherman Sr., R-Florence, and of S.C. Speaker of the House Rep. Jay Lucas, R-Darlington. 

Meanwhile, local Upstate leaders praised White’s work. 

“Brian White’s positive leadership will be effecting Anderson for generations,” said Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns. “But Anderson County will continue to move onward and upward (in spite of White’s loss of position.)”

White held the position since 2011, The House Ways and Means Committee’s 25-member panel writes the first draft of the state’s $8 billion budget each year. The committee’s chairman is often an influence on priorities for state spending.

The new Ways & Means committee for 2019 does not include any Anderson representative, and few representatives from the Upstate.

Smith, G. Murrell, Jr., Chairman (R) Sumter
Simrell, J. Gary, 1st Vice Chairman (R) York
Cobb-Hunter, Gilda, 2nd Vice Chairman (R) Orangeburg
Bales, Jimmy C. (D) Kershaw, Richland 
Ballentine, Nathan (R) Lexington, Richland
Bannister, Bruce. W. (R) Greenville
Clemmons, Alan D. (R) Horry
Clyburn, William (Bill) (D) Aiken, Edgefield, Saluda
Crawford, Heather A. (R) Horry
Erickson, Shannon S. (R) Beaufort  
Finlay, Kirkman, III (R) Richland
Hayes, Jackie E. (D) Darlington, Dillon, Horry, Marlboro  
Herbkersman, William (Bill) (R) Beaufort, Jasper
Hosey, Lonnie (D) Allendale, Barnwell, Orangeburg
Huggins, Chip (R) Lexington
Loftis, Dwight A. (R) Greenville
Lowe, Phillip D. (R) Darlington, Florence
Moss, Dennis C. (R) Cherokee, Chester, York
Pitts, Michael A. (R) Greenwood, Laurens
Rutherford, J. Todd (D) Richland
Smith, Garry R. (R) Greenville
Sottile, F. Michael (Mike) (R) Charleston
Stavrinakis, Leonidas E. (Leon) (D) Charleston
Weeks, J. David (D) Sumter
Whitmire, William R. (Bill) (R) Oconee

Story developing. Check for updates.

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