|By Tim Flach, The State (Columbia, S.C.)|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The pair face off at the
It's a contest being waged in an area of farms, the small towns of
For Finch, it's his first race for office after his attempt for the
He sees the post as the way to crusade against what he views as steady erosion of personal privacy -- mainly at the federal level -- through steps such as new health insurance requirements and use of telephone calls to trace terrorism.
"I can't sit down and shut up," Finch said. "States have go to start standing up to the federal government."
He won't always adhere to what Gov.
Finch isn't taking many shots at Spires other than to say the incumbent is too much "a middle-of-the-roader."
Spires describes himself as a low-key lawmaker working mostly for constituents who need help with state agencies.
"A lot of it up here (at the State House) is making contacts," he said.
Many of the proposals he's sponsored involve revisions in health care procedures, but he also helped push through a recent crackdown on drunken drivers.
In time, Spires would like to eliminate property taxes for those 65 and older. That's a step other lawmakers say would be devastating since the tax is the main revenue source for counties, municipalities and schools.
He said its' important to him that residents can find him regularly behind the counter at the drugstore he owns, adding his presence helps overcome "the sense that we (politicians) can't be trusted."
Winning the Republican match is tantamount to victory at the subsequent
Occupation: Operator of door and window installation company; farmer
Political experience: State representative since 2007;
Reach Flach at (803) 771-8483.
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