CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Republican Elliott Summey took the first step toward becoming a candidate for the First Congressional District seat being vacated by Congressman Tim Scott by forming an exploratory committee.
"Next week, just like many South Carolina families, we will spend Christmas celebrating the blessings of the season and the birth of our Lord with our loved ones…far away from politics. But today I thought it was important that I let people know of my plans and my vision for the future of our community," Summey said.
He continued, "Tim Scott has done a great job as our Congressman, bringing national attention to the challenges we face here in the Lowcountry, and quickly becoming a respected voice on the issues that concern us all, like fiscal responsibility and the future security of our nation. Our next Congressman needs to build on those successes and serve as partner to Tim as he begins his tenure in the United States Senate."
Summey said he would release details of his policy initiatives after the holidays. He stated that his primary goal would be to restore fiscal sanity.
"We need to focus on cutting taxes and balancing the budget through adopting a balanced budget amendment forcing government to live within its means. And in the tradition of Jim DeMint and other committed conservatives, I would pledge to limit myself to three-terms in Congress and work to place limits on all members," Summey said.
In recent days Summey has been speaking to supporters and donors from across the district who have urged him to run. Plans to take the campaign to the next level will be finalized sometime in January after Congressman Scott officially resigns his seat.
Summey is currently the Vice-Chairman of Charleston County Council and was recently re-elected by a wide-margin. He also serves as Chairman of the Economic Development Committee and in 2002 Elliott served on the Economic Development Transition Team for Governor Mark Sanford.
The news comes one day after State Representative Leon Stavrinakis announced he would not seek to fill Scott's seat.
Many others have already stepped forward though.
Former State Senator John Kuhn announced his candidacy earlier this week. He represented parts of Charleston and Berkeley counties from 2001 to 2004.
Sullivan's Island businessman Keith Blandford's name is also in the mix, as are state representatives Peter McCoy and Chip Limehouse.
Senator Larry Grooms, Carroll Campbell III, and Teddy Turner, son of media mogul Ted Turner, are also candidates.
Newly-elected State Senator Paul Thurmond and a Summerville man, Bob Menges, round out the list.
Scott will be sworn into office on Jan. 3.