Burns wins S.C. House District 17 Republican runoff

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TRAVELERS REST, S.C. – With all precincts reporting, Travelers Rest businessman Mike Burns has won the S.C. House District 17 Republican runoff election.

Burns, who missed an outright win in the special primary by one vote, received 1383 votes and his opponent, Chris Sullivan, received 1134.

The general election is scheduled for March 12, but no Democrat opponent entered the race. Unless a write-in candidate announces intentions to seek the seat by Feb. 21, Burns will be declared the winner and will fill the seat recently vacated by now S.C. Senator Tom Corbin, according to Conway Belangia, director of voter registration and elections in Greenville County.

Following Tuesday's win, the Mike Burns campaign released the following statement to the Tribune:

"I want to express my sincere gratitude to the voters of S.C. House District 17 for placing their confidence and trust in me to be their voice in Columbia. The people of northern Greenville County have sent a clear message: they want more common sense in state government and they want new approaches to solving the problems facing our District and our State.

They were so eager for change that they went to the polls twice in a 15-day span when there was no other election to motivate them to turn out. I am humbled by that dedication.

I want to thank my family, friends and neighbors for their countless hours of work with visits, phone calls, sign distribution and personal contacts on my behalf.

I want to thank my opponent for his energetic campaign because it made sure I didn’t become complacent. It helped me stay focused on sharing my vision for more effective government with as many District 17 residents as possible. I hope his supporters will give me a chance to earn their trust by effectively representing them in Columbia.

In the almost three months since I announced my candidacy for this seat, I have been down many roads, knocked on many doors I never knew existed before, been bitten by one dog and chased by others. In traversing the District, which encompasses roughly half the geographic area of Greenville County, I have listened to hundreds of people who want their government to represent them, not special interest groups.

I will use the same approach to state government that I use as a businessman. I will ask ‘Is this in the best interest of the people of District 17 and our state?’ and ‘Is the potential return worth the  investment?

I look forward to working with like-minded colleagues in the Legislature to make government leaner and more transparent, enact judicial reform, reduce taxes and make sure individual liberties are protected.

I am excited for the opportunity to represent my friends and neighbors in District 17 and seek God’s leadership as I do so."

(Pictured: Mike Burns and his wife, Anne, enjoy Tuesday's victory in the runoff election for S.C. House District 17.)


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