State Rep. Thad Viers announced his candidacy Thursday for the new 7th district seat in South Carolina.
Viers, a Republican serving his fifth term in the South Carolina House, told Roll Call that he’s been considering a run for a long time, but what “sealed the deal” for him was a new district being created in the northeastern part of the state and debate over the debt ceiling — what he called “the debt fiasco compromise in Washington.”
The new district, allotted to the state by reapportionment, is in the Pee Dee region of the state, anchored in Republican Horry County. The 7th includes the cities of Myrtle Beach and Florence.
Viers said he would beat out other GOP contenders by emphasizing that he is the most conservative candidate in the race. “My voting record speaks for itself. No one is going to outflank me on the right,” he said.
Given that the GOP nominee is likely to be the state’s newest Congressman, the primary is expected to draw many contenders. They are likely to include state Rep. Alan Clemmons, state Sen. Luke Rankin and former Lt. Gov. André Bauer. Viers said he thought he’d need to raise $500,000 to $700,000 for the primary.
He also noted his personal story and his speaking style would be an asset in the campaign.
“I grew up poor. I grew up in a trailer park, and I’ve worked for everything I’ve gotten,” he said. “I’m humble but I’m a straight shooter. Some of the other candidates are not that way. Style is going to play just as important a role as substance.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.