Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Thank You!

I don’t know if it was the excitement of winning, the outpouring of support, or all the caffeine I consumed while crunching return numbers from the precincts, but I didn’t get much sleep last night. The last twenty-four hours have been a blur, so I want to send out a bulk “Thank You.”

I am trying to return every call and text, as well as reply to messages online. And that is exactly why we won last night—because of people like you. It would be dishonest and unfair of me to say, “I won,” because I only cast one vote. We won because of your support.

I’m not sure if we should call it a traditional campaign or something out of the ordinary, but it was truly a grassroots movement. I never put an ad in any newspaper or cut a commercial for the radio; I didn’t send a postcard or make robo calls. I just tried to explain what I stand for, and then asked you to spread the word.

You retweeted. You liked. You shared. You favorited. You donated. You put up signs. You came to fundraisers. You told your friends to vote. I could not have won without the #MannFann movement.

Don’t get me wrong—I wanted to put ads in the paper, and I hope to send out postcards ahead of the November election, but I just didn’t have the funds to do those things. We raised just over $2,000, and we spent roughly $1,800, most of which was on yard signs. From my very first speech I billed myself as, “a self-proclaimed tightwad, an unapologetic cheapskate” that knows, “how to stretch every dollar and pinch every penny.” While I vowed to take that mindset to Columbia, it also rang true on our shoestring campaign budget.

Which is what makes me so thankful for you. I’ll take a handful of eager supporters over a check from a PAC any day. My largest donation was $100; many gave $10 or less. In the end, it was your votes and enthusiasm that pushed us to victory.

It was you recent graduates who educated yourself to the process and voted for the first time; it was you grandparents who had never cast a vote before yesterday; it was those of you who left for work early, gave up your lunch break, or had a late dinner because you went to the polls. I can’t thank you enough.

I also want to say thank you to Alicia, Reagan, TJ, and the rest of our family for supporting us through this crazy life change. My wife has been my number one supporter, and she deserves more praise than I can give her.

We can’t stop now. I’m going to be asking you to do it all again this fall. Together, we can keep demanding better. Thank you!

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