Many Beaufort County voters have been moved to another congressional district, and on Election Day, they'll get to choose their new representative.
Redistricting following the 2010 Census removedBeaufort County from the 2nd Congressional District, which has been represented since 2001 by U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-Springdale. Most of that territory has been moved to the 1st District, whose voters elected Rep. Tim Scott in 2010.
A small portion of Beaufort County was moved into the 6th Congressional District served by Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-Columbia, who is running unopposed for an 11th term.
Scott, R-Charleston, seekshis second term representing a districtthat also includes parts ofColleton, Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties. About 30 percent of the redrawn district's voters were in other congressional districts in 2010, according to state records.
Standing in Scott's way is Democratic challenger Bobbie Rose of Charleston, a 54-year-old former educator and real estate agent in her first run for public office.
Rose said the district isn't being represented properly.
"A representative is supposed to represent the people of the district, not just corporate donors," Rose said. "... I understand the issues that affect the people of this district -- employment, costs of living, benefits they've earned but that are at risk, and education for our children. Scott hasn't addressed these issues, however. Instead of representing constituents, he has only served corporations."
Scott said his voting record in Congress speaks for itself.
"I am the only candidate with a track record of supporting legislation to cut spending, limit big government, and rein in the job-crushing regulations that have damaged our economy," Scott said. "As a former small-business owner, I understand the obstacles we face as a nation, and I have consistently worked to create an environment that encourages success."
Since the district was redrawn last year, Scott has been a regular visitor to Beaufort County, appearing at area Republican clubs and other events to express his opposition to health care reform and other initiatives by President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress.
If re-elected, Scott said he would continue to push for smaller government, clearing the way for more economic growth and job creation.
"To grow our economy, we must do three things: reduce government interference, eliminate burdensome and redundant regulations and simplify our tax code," Scott said. "By reforming our tax code, we will encourage investment in our fragile economy, providing certainty and predictability for job creators. And by getting government out of the way, we will allow the private sector to do what it does best -- innovate and grow."
Rose said she, too, stresses job creation but not at the expense of government's core functions.
"It is imperative that we put Americans back to work," Rose said. "And just like we have demonstrated need for employment, we have demonstrated needs for community improvements, too. We can address both at the same time. We have an opportunity to improve the conditions of our roads, bridges and schools while creating jobs that pay living wages. Such projects would greatly benefit our economy, too."
Rose, who also is the Working Families Party nominee, will appear on the ballot for the 1st Congressional District twice. County and state election officials will report her totals separately on Election Day, but votes cast for her as a Democrat and as a Working Families candidate will be added together when the state certifies the results, elections officials said.
Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/ProtectServeBft