Former 16th Circuit Solicitor Tommy Pope defeated Herb Kirsh, the longest serving member of the state House of Representatives, Tuesday in House District 47, according to unofficial returns.
Pope, a Republican, said he ran strong throughout the district. It’s his first term in the legislature.
Kirsh had represented York County in the House for 32 years.
“It is nice to do what mamma always tell you, and have it pay off in the end,” said Pope. He attributed his victory to the way he and Kirsh conducted the campaign, with respect and civility.
“People appreciated that; they are tired of negativity,” Pope said.
Pope was Darlene Goolsby’s choice. She voted for him because of how he handled his job as solicitor. Pope will act a “new voice with new ideas,” she said.
Kirsh said he knew he was in trouble when he saw the initial results for U.S. Rep. John Spratt and gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen, his Democratic cohorts.
“I knew I was next,” said Kirsh. “I don’t like it, but there is nothing I can do about. I won’t lose any sleep over it.”
The district is in northern York County and includes Clover.
Kirsh supporters were faithful to the end. Deanne Kelly said she voted for the 81-year-old Kirsh because “he’s my hometown guy. Democrat or not, I’m standing behind him.”
State Rep. Gary Simrill, a Rock Hill Republican who sat next to Kirsh in the legislature, said Kirsh’s longevity and knowledge of the state budget will be next to impossible to eclipse.
“The people who wrote the budget came to Mr. Kirsh to have him explain it,” Simrill said.
In his own election Tuiesday, Simrill defeated Democrat Holly Ann Cooper Tuesday to win his tenth term representing District 46.
The longest-serving member of the local House delegation is now Greg Delleney of Chester County. The Republican, who was first elected 1991, was unopposed Tuesday.
Dennis Ross, a Republican who represents House District 29, which includes Sharon, Hickory Grove, McConnells and Gaffney, was unopposed for a second term.
In Chester and Fairfield counties, Democrat Boyd Brown was unopposed in District 41.
In Lancaster, Republican Jay Lucas of District 65, which includes a portion of Lancaster, was unopposed.
Democrat John King, who represents District 49, which includes Rock Hill and southwest York County, was unopposed.
Republican Ralph Norman handily defeated Libertarian candidate Stan Smith in District 48, which includes parts of Rock Hill and Fort Mill.
Norman said people want limited government and one of his first action in the upcoming session will be to introduce a term-limit bill, setting a 12-year maximum.
Republican Deborah Long of District 45, which includes Lancaster and Fort Mill, led Democratic challenger Mary Bernsdorff in unofficial York County results. Results from Lancaster County, where Bernsdorff resides and taught, were unavailable late Tuesday night.
Courtesy: Herald Online