UNION COUNTY — District 2 Union County Councilman Frank Hart says he is running for Union County Supervisor.
In a statement released Tuesday, Hart, who is serving his first term on council, said he will seek the Democratic nomination for supervisor in the June 10 primary.
“I would like to announce my intentions to seek the nomination as the Democratic candidate for Union County Supervisor,” Hart said. “I have enjoyed the opportunity to serve the people of Union as a member of county council over this past year.”
In announcing his candidacy, Hart pointed to the economic development that the county has attracted during his 15 months on council and his support for efforts to attract and promote development.
“During that time I believe that we have made progress in Union County,” Hart said. “Over the last 15 months six companies have announced industrial investments of over 82 million dollars in our county and the creation of approximately 185 new jobs.
“On council, I supported the development board’s business plan which was centered around developing a spec building and making improvements to two existing South Carolina Certified Sites in Union County,” he said. “I believe that this will be key for us in our efforts to continue to attract high paying industries to Union County for jobs”
Hart also pointed to his involvement in efforts to assist the Union Hospital District continue to provide quality health care to the people of Union County.
“In addition, this year I had the opportunity to serve as chair of the Union County Council Committee on Public Health and Social Services,” Hart said. “This committee has worked closely with the hospital board to identify the key issues threatening our hospital district and has developed a plan which although not completed as of yet, has the promise of ensuring that we will continue to have quality health care in Union County for generations to come.”
Hart also pointed to his efforts to require greater transparency and oversight by council of county finances with an eye to reducing costs.
“One of my campaign promises when I ran for county council was that we would provide more financial oversight and transparency in the county,” Hart said. “This past year when we introduced the budget I proposed and council supported amendments which require council approval on discretionary spending from the contingency and capital projects funds. In past years, the money was appropriated to these funds with no clear definition or requirements as to what the funds were to be used for.
“In addition, this past year I introduced and council supported an amendment to the budget that requires that when an employee leaves the county, the department head or elected official to which that employee reported must present to council the business case for rehiring a replacement employee before a replacement may be hired,” he said. “This is a standard protocol followed in private industry in these tough economic times and it is a way to reduce county payroll and expenses over time through attrition.”
Despite these achievements, Hart said there is more that needs to be done and he feels that as supervisor he can develop a plan that will address the county’s current and future needs.
“While I feel that much progress has been made, I believe that there is much more work to be done,” Hart said. “As your county supervisor, one of my primary areas of focus is the development of a comprehensive business plan with short-, mid-, and long-term goals for the county that connects us to the rest of our region in the Upstate. As a rural county, we have limited resources and it is vital that every investment that is made and every dollar that is spent, be done so within the framework of a plan which supports the growth of the county.
“This plan will include economic development and job creation, road and infrastructure maintenance and capital projects,” he said. “The plan will also include quality of life investments through our existing hospitality tax revenues which will attract and retain folks within our county. My goal and vision is a Union County where folks want to locate and live because of the job opportunities that our regional economy provides and the quality of life we can offer their families.”
Hart said that as supervisor he will also stress cooperation between the county and other groups within the community including the general public.
“In addition, as county supervisor I will work to establish an environment of cooperation and open communication within the county,” Hart said. “It is imperative that the school district, the municipalities, the county, and the citizens come together in support of a plan and vision for our community. Working together to achieve our goals will make a brighter future for our children and grandchildren. I would appreciate your support.”
A Jonesville resident, Hart has represented District 2 on council since December 2012 after being appointed to serve out the unexpired term of the late Dora Martin. Prior to his appointment, Hart won a term in his own right in the November 2012 general election and began his term in January 2013.
Hart was elected to council as a petition candidate after he and hundreds of Democratic and Republican candidates across South Carolina were removed from the ballot after the State Supreme Court ruled that candidates must provide their parties with paper copies of their statements of economic interest even if they had already been filed electronically. The candidates removed from the ballot included Hart and nine others running in Union County.
Since 2003, Hart has been the owner of Hart Insurance Agency Inc. which operates Allstate agencies in Union and Laurens counties. From 1993-2003, Hart was R&D and manufacturing manager for Bic Consumer Products Corporation.
Hart holds a BS in Chemistry from USC Spartanburg and an MS in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University.
A Past President of the Union County Chamber of Commerce, Hart is a member of the Union Rotary Club. He is also a Department of Juvenile Justice Youth Volunteer.
Hart and his wife, Amelia, have three children: Lori, Joe, and Sarah.
The family are members of West Springs Baptist Church where Hart serves as a deacon, Sunday School teacher, and AWANA worker. He is the current Moderator for the Union County Baptist Association.
Hart is the second candidate to announce for supervisor.
Incumbent Tommy Sinclair announced Monday that he will seek a second term in office. At the time of his announcement, Sinclair did not, however, state his party affiliation, but did say he would state it in the near future.
The Democratic and Republican primaries will be held June 10. Filing for the primaries opened at noon Sunday and will close at noon on Sunday, March 30.
Anyone wanting to run one for one of the partisan offices on the primary ballot must bring their statement of intention of candidacy and party pledge form to the Registrar’s Office. The form is available at scvotes.org and at the Registrar’s Office.
In addition to the form, candidates must also bring their filing fee. The fees are also listed on the scvotes.org website.
For more information about filing to run for partisan office in the primaries and general election, contact the Union County Voter Registrar’s Office at 864-429-1616.