District 12 primary Thursday: a word with the candidates

Many of the roads in South Carolina District 12 are lined with a seemingly ever-growing number of campaign signs ahead of tomorrow’s primary.

It’s where Republican voters on the west side of Spartanburg and east side of Greenville counties will decide a four-way race.

We talked with Senator Lee Bright, who said “If they want more political correctness, obviously I’m not their guy.”

Lee Bright, the incumbent, says he’s the most conservative candidate.

As one of only three senators to vote against the removal of the confederate flag from the state house, Bright is no stranger to controversy–or criticism.

We asked Bright what he had to say to critics who say he’s not getting enough done.

“We need more conservatives in the legislature.” he said.

Bright is facing three challengers who want to unseat him, including Lisa Cooley Scott, who is the Mayor of Duncan and a business woman with a masters in social work.

“I get things done, I don’t grab headlines. Scott said. “I can get a lot done without having to have my name in the news.”

She says her parents were shop owners who accepted all clients during desegregation.

“I learned very early not to judge people.” Scott said.

Scott Talley is a Spartanburg lawyer who served in the state house until he lost to Bright in 2008.

“I’ve gotten bills passed in the legislature. I was able to work with people to be effective when I was in the house and I think I could do the same thing in the senate. And I think that is what this district needs.” Talley said.

And David McCraw, a veteran, owns 3 businesses and has never held elected office. The Spartanburg native says Bright is a branding problem for this state.

“We need someone who can actually work with people, that will gain people’s respect and respect from people in his district and from South Carolina, and Lee is not that person.” McCraw said.

Political Science professor Brent Nelson calls Bright the most controversial senator in the state.

“So the question is, is the populist anger that senator Bright raises, will that be stronger than the more establishment anger who says that Senator Bright is an embarrassment to our district? Which set of angry people will come out on Tuesday, that’s the question.” Nelson said.

“I’m going to represent conservatives. A lot of people go out there and say I wish somebody would say something about this, and I’m that guy. And if I’m not in Columbia anymore, I’m not going to have anybody that’s going to stand in the gap on these issues.” Bright said.

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