UNION — A self-described “tightwad” who enjoys taking on the challenge of finding ways to save money says he want to see to it that Union County gets its fair share of state funding to repair its roads and upgrade its schools.
When former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee spoke during a campaign rally at First Baptist Church in Union this past Saturday, he was not the only Republican running for public office to speak that evening.
Also addressing the several dozen people attending the event was Tommy Mann, who is seeking the GOP nomination for the SC House District 42 seat.
Mann, who was the first to speak that evening, described himself as “a self-proclaimed tightwad” who has always looked for ways to save money. He said that if elected to the SC House District 42 seat one of his priorities in Columbia will be to look for ways to save money in the state budget.
At the same time, however, Mann said he will also look for ways to send more state funding to Union County to address the county’s needs. Mann said he wants to see the county get more money to repair more of its roads. A substitute teacher, Mann said he will also work to see to it that more money is sent back from the state to the Union County School District. He said he wants to see the school district receive more funding so that it can upgrade its schools to ensure that teachers and students have access to the most modern educational technology and resources possible.
Mann said that he feels Union County is like many other small communities that have been shortchanged in the amount of funding they receive from the state. He said he wants to stop that shortchanging and see to it the county gets its fair share of funding for its roads and schools.
In addition to being a fiscal conservative, Mann also described himself as a staunch defender of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America and the right of law-abiding citizens to be able to arm themselves for their own protection. The son of a police officer, Mann said he feels Union County has great law enforcement, but pointed out that law enforcement personnel cannot be immediately present when a crime is being committed. He said that the law-abiding must be able to protect themselves from criminals in such situations and that means being able to be armed, even when they are outside of their homes.
Mann pointed out that he has a concealed weapons permit that allows him to carry a concealed firearm with him when he leaves his home. He said this is part of the Second Amendment rights enjoyed by all law-abiding American citizens, a right that he said he will work to protect in the General Assembly.
In addition to defending the Second Amendment rights of South Carolinians, Mann said he will also work to protect the freedom of religion guaranteed in the First Amendment to the Constitution. Mann said he supports the Pastor Protection Act and the First Amendment Defense Act in order to protect religious liberty. He said this includes protecting the right of Christians to live out their faith instead of being forced to leave it at home and not live it at their places of business or even their churches.
Mann said this legislation is necessary because in its drive to promote the civil rights of one group, the Supreme Court has infringed on the civil rights of others. He said Christians must be free to live their faith including pastors deciding who they will perform wedding ceremonies for and/or allow to use their churches as well as business owners making decisions based on their religious beliefs.
A native of Orlando, Florida, Mann moved to Union in 2008 to begin an eight-year tenure as Associate Pastor at Philippi Baptist Church. He resigned as Associate Pastor to run for the GOP nomination for the SC House District 42 seat.
Mann is a graduate of Arlington Baptist College in Fort Worth, TX. He is also a published author whose latest book is “Asleep in Heaven’s Nursery for Kids.” He and his wife, Alicia, have two children, Reagan and TJ.
In addition to his service as Associate Pastor at Philippi Baptist, Mann has served on Union County’s Assessment Appeals Board and as Chairman of Union County’s Comprehensive Health Committee. Most recently, he served as Vice Moderator and then Moderator of the Union County Baptist Association.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.