Saturday, June 11, 2016

Union County News Candidate Statement

The following is the article I wrote for the Union County News:

I’m often asked why I chose to walk away from a great job and enter the political arena, and the answer is simple: I felt like it was the right thing to do. Governor Mike Huckabee once wrote, “If you have ever wondered why they didn’t do a better job, maybe its because it never occurred to you that they rarely do anything. Life changes when they get fired and we take their place[1].” They does not remind me of anyone in particular, but I’ve spent years trying to affect change from the sidelines, and the governor’s words inspired me to run for office.

I hear so many people complain about the condition of our roads, and I want to repair them. I’ve heard concerns about losing our 2nd Amendment rights, and I want to protect them. I see families struggle in this economy, and I want to help them by fighting taxes and promoting local business.

As a pastor for 12 years I have seen religious liberty come under attack. I have lobbied for a First Amendment Restoration Act and/or a Pastor Protection Act like other states have passed, and now I am running to make that happen. I am a firm believer that life begins at conception—all the science confirms it, and now the law needs to catch up. The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was a great start, but once elected I will author and introduce the Life Begins at Conception Act. We can give personhood status to our tiniest South Carolinians, guaranteeing their right to life under the 14th Amendment.

I have proudly signed the South Carolina Association of Taxpayers pledge to oppose any and all new taxes. I support Congressional term limits and ethics reform, as well as the Article V Convention of States. My wife and I are members of the Foster Parent Association, and we are pushing for the “Normalcy Bill” and “Reporting Bill” currently before the House, which would be a big help to both children and foster parents.

I spent this past year as a substitute teacher for Union County School District, and I see firsthand how underfunding has hurt our students. Year after year we have to do more with less because bigger districts like Spartanburg and Greenville get a bigger piece of the pie. While they use their funds to buy brand new iPads for every student, our students are sharing textbooks, many of which are missing covers and pages.

If we really want to attract new business and new families to this county, we need to demand better. Let’s raise the bar and demand more for Union County—better roads, better funding, better accountability. Why would a business owner move into a county that is trying to raise taxes? What will keep families in the county if taxes go up? States like California raise taxes, and families and business are bolting for states that lower taxes—states like Texas, Florida, and South Carolina. Tax increases always cause inflation, and tax cuts always stimulate economic growth.

I’m not from here, but I love it here. I wasn’t born in Union, but I got to choose Union. There is nowhere else I would rather live and raise my family, and I have a burden to see this District be all it can be.

That’s a little bit about who I am and what I stand for. I would love your vote in the June 14 primary and the November election. Together, we can demand better.

Tommy Mann

[1] Huckabee, Mike, From Hope to Higher Ground,  Center Streetp.178-179

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