By Anita Crone
Backed by a plethora of movers and shakers from Georgetown County, on Nov. 9, Lee Hewitt announced his plans to run for the S.C. House of Representatives seat from District 108.
“I’m humbled by the support I’ve received,” Hewitt said.
While he announced his first run for public office in a news release, he said that, since the release was posted online, he has been receiving emails of support, requests to volunteer and campaign funds.
His first business, he said, was to head south to McClellanville and the Mount Pleasant area, where he’s not as familiar a face as he is in Murrells Inlet, the Waccamaw Neck and Georgetown.
Hewitt, 55, an owner of Garden City Realty, said he intends to bring a small-business focus to Columbia. “I think about these issues every day – roads, schools, jobs, the environment,” he said. “I make my living from people who come here for the pristine beaches. My son is in school here. I have another son graduating from college, and I want him to be able to come back home and make a living.”
While the run for the House seat is Hewitt’s first, he is no stranger to public service. He was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley to serve as the 7th Congressional District’s representative on the Department of Health and Environmental Control and has served as chairman of the Georgetown County Planning Commission, on the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Georgetown County Comprehensive Land Use Plan Committee. He was a member of the Grand Strand Area Transportation Committee and the Southern Evacuation Lifeline Road Task Force.
That familiarity has brought him support from current and past members of Georgetown County Council, including Councilmen Austin Beard, Steve Goggans and John Thomas, as well as former councilmen Glen O’Connell, Jerry Oakley, David Hood and Bob Anderson. Other supporters include restaurateurs Al Hitchcock of Drunken Jack’s, Charlie Campbell of the Dead Dog Saloon and Kelly and Dexter Dorman, owners of Lee’s Inlet Kitchen.
Others on Hewitt’s lists of supporters include former state representative and current Planning Commissioner Joe Young; Planning Commissioner Johnny Weaver; former Planning Commissioner Glenda Shoulette; former County Water and Sewer District Chairman Bob Plowden; retired judges Bill Moeller and Tom Barrineau; former U.S. Rep. John Napier; former County GOP Chairman Jim Jerow; former state GOP Executive Committee Member Joyce Jerow; former County GOP Executive Committee members Bill Hills and Ted Quantz; and community leaders Audrey Adduce, Don Thomas, Chip Abernethy, David Whitlock, Whitney Hills, Booty Shelley, Ronnie and Empie Gasque, Frank Causey, Gray Turner, Greg and Gail Lunn, Bill Chandler, David DuRant, Tim Onions, Carl Moody, and Buzz Freeman.
Hewitt and his wife, Whitney, live in Murrells Inlet.
No other candidate has announced plans to run for the seat. State Rep. Stephen Goldfinch, who holds the seat, has announced his intention to seek a state Senate seat.
MURRELLS INLET – Lee Hewitt, a Murrells Inlet realtor, SC Dept. of Health and Environmental Control board member and former Georgetown County Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals chairman, Monday announced his candidacy as a Republican for SC House District 108 and rolled out big endorsements.
“I care about our community and state and want to serve the district in Columbia, where I can use my experience as a business owner and in local and state government to be an effective legislator, one that will fight for low taxes, better roads, the best education for our children, more jobs, and to protect our natural resources,” Lee Hewitt said. “I share the conservative values of the district and ask Georgetown and Charleston County voters for their support and will work hard to earn their votes.”
Dan Stacy, a Pawleys Island attorney who is a former chairman of the Georgetown County Alliance for Economic Development and county Economic Development Commissioner, is serving as Hewitt’s campaign chairman.
“I have known Lee personally and professionally for over 15 years. He is the right person to represent District 108 for the future. His time as a member and chairman of the county planning commission reflected the thoughtful and pragmatic problem-solving capacity he possesses that our district and state need to move forward,” Stacy said. “Lee’s conservative fiscal philosophies have allowed him to build a successful business, and those entrepreneurial skill sets and business-efficiencies will be essential both for the district and our state.”
Hewitt announced endorsements from Georgetown County public officials and GOP and community leaders such as:
County Auditor Brian Shult; County Councilmen Austin Beard, Steve Goggans, and John Thomas; former County Councilmen Glen O’Connell (a former county GOP Chairman), Jerry Oakley, David Hood, and Bob Anderson; former state Representative, SCDOT and Planning Commissioner Joe Young; Planning Commissioner Johnny Weaver; former Planning Commissioner Glenda Shoulette; former County Water and Sewer District Chairman Bob Plowden; Judge Bill Moeller (Retired); Judge Tom Barrineau (Retired); former Congressman John Napier; former County GOP Chairman Jim Jerow; former state GOP Executive Committee Member Joyce Jerow; former County GOP Executive Committee members Bill Hills and Ted Quantz; community leaders Audrey Adduce, Al Hitchcock, Charlie Campbell, Don Thomas, Chip Abernethy, David Whitlock, Kelly and Dexter Dorman, Whitney Hills, Booty Shelley, Ronnie and Empie Gasque, Frank Causey, Gray Turner, Greg and Gail Lunn, Bill Chandler, David DuRant, Tim Onions, Carl Moody, and Buzz Freeman.
“I’m honored and humbled by the outpouring of support I’ve received for my campaign, particularly this early. I’m going to continue working hard reaching out to Georgetown and Charleston County voters and raising the money necessary to fund a successful campaign,” Hewitt said.
Incumbent district Rep. Stephen Goldfinch, R-Murrells Inlet, has announced that he will seek the District 34 state Senate seat of retiring Sen. Ray Cleary.
The filing period for the election is next March, with primary elections on June 14th.
Hewitt, 55, has lived in Murrells Inlet for nearly 40 years. He is owner of Garden City Realty and has served as President of the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors and on the board of the state Association of Realtors. He is a Certified Residential Specialist, a Certified Professional Mediator, and a graduate of the Realtors Institute.
Last year, Hewitt was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley and confirmed by the state Senate as the 7th Congressional District Representative to the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control Board of Directors.
Hewitt has served as chairman of the Georgetown County Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals and on the Georgetown County Comprehensive Land Use Plan Committee, Grand Strand Area Transportation Committee, and the Southern Evacuation Lifeline Road Task Force.
Hewitt is a charter member of the Murrells Inlet Rotary Club, an AAU youth basketball coach, and a founder and current Co-Chairman of the Murrells Inlet 4th of July Boat Parade.
He is a 1982 graduate of Coastal Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Hewitt is an active member of Belin Memorial United Methodist Church. He and his wife, Whitney, have two sons, William, a senior at the University of South Carolina, and Coleman, a sophomore at Waccamaw High School.
Hewitt’s campaign website is www.hewittforhouse.com
House District 108 includes all of coastal Georgetown County, except for the city of Georgetown, and the northern coastal portion of Charleston County to Mt. Pleasant.