Young to run for Ryberg’s Senate seat

S.C. Rep. Tom Young said Saturday he will seek election to the S.C. Senate District 24 seat of Greg Ryberg, who announced earlier this week he will not seek re-election.

Young, a Republican who has represented the 81st House District since 2008, looks to take over the Senate seat Ryberg has held for the past 20 years. An Aiken attorney, Young serves on the House judiciary committee.

He said he opted to seek the Senate post after seeing repeated House measures go nowhere in the state Senate.

“Time after time, we have advanced pro-taxpayer reforms and legislation good for South Carolina that have died or stalled in the state Senate,” Young said.

Young has cosponsored several government restructuring bills, including moving several currently elected positions to governor appointments. Those include secretary of agriculture, secretary of state, superintendent of education, treasurer and adjutant general. He also cosponsored a bill that would call for the joint election of the governor and lieutenant governor.

The secretary of state bill cleared the House in 2010 but died when the 2010 Senate session expired with the bill not being addressed during the session. All of the other bills cleared the House in 2011 and are in the hands of the Senate.

Young also co-authored a bill that would strip the driving privilege to high school dropouts under the age of 18. The House passed that in 2010, but it, too, died when the Senate term expired. The bill passed against in 2011 and was passed unanimously last week by the Senate education committee. The bill is on the Senate calendar for this term.

Young said his conservative credentials in the House would transfer to the Senate.

“Aiken County wants and deserves a strong and consistent voice in the Senate for lower taxes, smaller government, less spending and balanced budgets. I look forward to showing the citizens of Aiken County that I will be the same kind of conservative, constituent-focused senator that I have been as a House member,” he said.

Young lauded Ryberg’s fiscal conservatism and said he will uphold that stance.

“He’s been a strong advocate for the taxpayers, and I intend to continue to be a strong advocate of the taxpayer,” he said.

Young is the first to announce intentions to run for Ryberg’s senate seat.

As for who will replace him in the House, Young said he has no particular individual in mind but rather a general philosophy.

“I would like to see someone represent the voters of District 81 who is conservative and focused on constituent service,” he said.

Young replaced Rep. Skipper Perry in the 2008 election after Perry announced he would not seek re-election after nine years of service in the Statehouse.

Young is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and the USC School of Law. He lives in Aiken with his wife and two daughters.

Filing for those intending to run for office opens March 16 at noon and closes March 30 at noon. The state primaries will be held June 12, and the general election is Nov. 6.

Source: Aiken Standard