Rita Allison is an experienced conservative state representative who should be re-elected by her constituents.
Allison is running for her seventh term in the state House. She served five terms before leaving her seat to run unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2002. She regained her old seat two years ago and resumed her effective representation in Columbia.
When the Spartanburg County Legislative Delegation split over how to choose a chairman, Allison was one of the few who acted like a grown-up. She has been a voice of reason and experience on the delegation.
While she was out of office, Allison worked for Gov. Mark Sanford, which gave her experience in the executive branch of government.
Allison knows that next year the General Assembly will face its toughest budget crisis yet. She says very difficult decisions will have to be made to cut programs that are worthwhile but not top priorities. Those top priorities have to be public safety and education, she said.
She wants to look at duplication within state government and various agencies that have similar programs. The budget crisis has a positive side in that it will force the state to look more closely for inefficiencies. There has been reluctance in the legislature to make the tough decisions, she said, adding that next year’s revenue shortfall will force lawmakers to make those choices.
Allison is opposed by independent candidate Jim McMillan. McMillan had filed to run as a Republican but was taken off the primary ballot by the state party because of questions about when he moved to the district. McMillan bills himself as a more conservative choice than Allison, but the only specific criticism he can provide is that Allison voted to increase the cigarette tax.
Allison is the better choice for District 36 voters.