Spartanburg House Race Update – District 38

January 18, 2010 by  
Filed under SC Politics

The race for House District 38 should prove to be one of the most interesting races this election cycle.  Don’t forget to vote in our House District 38 poll at the bottom of this post!

The incumbent, Joey Millwood, who ousted 8 term Education and Public Work Chairman Bob Walker with a surprising upset to start off the 2008 election cycle finds himself in a heated race going to win a second term.  Currently there are two announced opponents and the former incumbent is still filing ethics reports.

And  despite rumors posted by a commenter (Charlotte Watchdog, by the way, where has the watchdog gone?) earlier this year, I am not moving into the district to challenge Joey Millwood.

Joey Millwood

Contributions:  $5,600.00
Expenditures:  $375.01
Cash on hand: $9,158.43

Joey Millwood, a supporter of school choice, has made several in roads and is proving himself to be a reliable vote in the State House with the group FITS News termed the “Back Row Boys”.  Joey changed consultants during this cycle, moving away from the Sandlapper group led by Chad Connelly to what many consider to be a rising star in consulting, Chris Sullivan.

Millwood’s most recent financial report is surprisingly small. The majority of his contributions came from the school choice crowd, ~$4,000.  The former “David” of Landrum has had zero contributions from his local district.

Doug Brannon

Contributions:  $5,550.00
Expenditures:  $11,51.20
Cash on hand: $4,898.80

Doug last held a public office in 1997, mayor of Landrum, before attempting to run a write-in campaign in 2008 after Millwood upset Walker.  That write-in campaign, to get his name on the November ballot, failed as he was unable to obtain the 915 signatures required.  Other than that, we don’t know much about Brannon besides some wild rumors that have not been validated.

All of Brannon’s contributions came from attorney’s during this cycle, none of which are within the district.

John Moore

Contributions:  $15,628.69
Expenditures:  $3,470.76
Cash on hand: $25,927.88

Moore has hired Kerry Wood, of Dark Horse Strategy, to be his consultant.  Kerry’s most notable win was the Senate 13 upset against sitting Senator Jim Ritchie.

Moore matches the profile of typical DHSG candidates and can raise money.  Moore’s supporters range across a variety of occupations and he has built a solid fundraising base in the district and across Spartanburg county.

Bob Walker

Contributions:  $7.01
Expenditures:  $8,232.00
Cash on hand: $21,321.23

It is pretty much understood that Bob Walker is not going to run again.  What is interesting about the former representative is that he paid his consulting group (Campaign Research & Strategy) $8,000 for campaign services 16 months after he was defeated by Joey Millwood.  We did some more digging and found he paid the organization another $8,000 in May of 2009.  What is Walker expending his past fundraising money on?

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  • Matt

    I guess I kind of see Millwood as the “authentically” conservative candidate and John Moore as the more “establishment” Republican candidate (just look at where he is getting his money based on family connections). That’s why I was surprised when I saw who Moore’s consultants are–plus I think one of that firm’s employees work for Millwood’s campaign last time. Anyway I guess when all is said and done, a consultant has to do with who is willing to pay them. With that said John Moore’s fundraising sheet is very impressive and I’m beginning to wonder if Millwood is even taking this campaign seriously.

    A number of those high-dollar attorneys giving to Brannon are some of the biggest Democrats in town with some very recognizable names as Democrats in Spartanburg. Just saying that should probably be an issue in any primary.

  • John Steinberger

    Joey Millwood is a co-sponsor of the South Carolina FairTax Act (H.3992), the only bill in the House that will provide incentive for small businesses to hire folks.

  • Matt

    Good point John. I’m with you on that.

    I’ve got a lot of respect for John Moore. Like Joey Millwood he is a young Republican who wants to serve. The thing is that from a conservative reformer’s perspective, Joey Millwood is one of the good-guys in Columbia. I also think he represents young conservatives well. I’ll be supporting Joey for a second term–no reason not to.

  • Henry Gramling

    I know all three candidates. John Moore is my choice. John has roots in the Inman area even though he grew up in Spartanburg. He is not a lawyer and he has a real desire to represent the people of district 38. We need more men like John Moore in Columbia, if we ever want to make things better.