YORK — Republican Representative Thomas E. “Tommy” Pope, current SC House of Representatives Speaker Pro Tempore and former 16th Circuit Solicitor from York, announced Monday his intention to seek election to South Carolina’s 5th congressional district. The 5th congressional district seat is expected to become vacant shortly due to Congressman Mulvaney’s pending confirmation as Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
“I always believed that here in South Carolina was where I could best serve the people, but when God closes one door He often opens another,” said Pope. “In the past weeks I have received an outpouring of support from people across the 5th district, urging me to take on this new challenge. My wife and I have prayerfully considered this run and how it will affect our family, and my constituents in the York, Clover, and Lake Wylie area.”
“After due consideration, and armed with a lot of prayers and support, I am announcing that I will seek the 5th district congressional seat in the upcoming special election, and look forward to Congressman Mulvaney’s speedy confirmation by the Senate.”
“I’ve decided to step forward because there has never been a greater opportunity for real conservative change in Washington and I want to help lead it. As the President said yesterday before the Super Bowl, ‘There is a lot of work to do!’ The 5th district’s next Representative must fight to cut our bloated government, protect the unborn, and restore our God-given rights to the states. Ultimately what our citizens want is a country that is safe and secure so that they and their loved ones can fully realize the pursuit of happiness.”
“Too many politicians get elected and lose touch with the people they are sworn to serve. In my career as a police officer, prosecutor and representative I have sworn an oath to defend the Constitution of this State and the United States. Just as I have upheld these oaths, I will do so in Congress, and I’ll never forget that my primary obligation is to the citizens of South Carolina and that the power of government comes from the people we serve.”
A formal kickoff to the campaign will occur once the seat is vacated and the filing period opens. Further details will be provided at that time.
The press release announcing Pope’s candidacy also provided the following background information.
A man of faith, courage, and deep conviction, Tommy Pope is a proven conservative leader and fighter.
His father was a sheriff, his mother was a schoolteacher and Tommy Pope was destined to continue their careers in public service. After graduating from Rock Hill High School, Tommy pursued a degree in Business Management at the University of South Carolina. As a freshman, Tommy began working at the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) as a “phone boy” — literally, the boy who answered the phones. Throughout his undergraduate years, in addition to his phone boy duties, Tommy ran the bloodhounds, cut down marijuana fields and apprehended criminals. By the time he graduated from Carolina in 1984, he had “blue lights in his blood” and soon became a full time agent at SLED.
It was not long after Tommy began his career as a SLED Agent that SLED Chief Pete Strom urged Tommy to go to law school. In 1987 Tommy graduated from South Carolina School of Law, earning his Juris Doctorate degree. Tommy then continued his law enforcement service, first as a legal advisor and then as a prosecutor.
In 1992, when Tommy was only thirty years old, he was elected to serve as the Solicitor of the 16th Judicial Circuit consisting of York and Union counties in South Carolina. While Tommy is most commonly recognized for his 1995 prosecution of Susan Smith for the drowning death of her two children, his legacy as Solicitor goes beyond that. When he was first elected, the 16th Circuit had the worst backlog of criminal cases in the state. Under his guidance, the 16th Circuit overcame that backlog and moved to consistently lead the State in providing effective and timely prosecution of criminal cases. Throughout his tenure as Solicitor, Tommy personally tried numerous murder and death penalty cases. Tommy retired in 2006 and began a new chapter of helping people through the private practice of law. In 2008, Tommy was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor for his dedication and service to the citizens of our State.
In 2010 Tommy was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives and in 2014 Tommy was elected Speaker Pro Tempore by his peers and was reelected in 2016 to serve in that position. Tommy and his wife Kimberly reside in York, South Carolina and have four children and one grandchild.
This story courtesy of Pope for Congress.