UNION COUNTY — After nearly two decades representing Union County and the rest of SC House of Representatives District 42 in the SC General Assembly State Rep. Mike Anthony is retiring from public life.
In a statement released this past weekend, Anthony, who was first elected to the District 42 seat in 2002, announced he will not seek a ninth term in office.
It has been my privilege to serve you, the residents of House District 42, in the South Carolina House of Representatives. In retrospect, I look back over the sixteen years that I have had the opportunity and honor to serve you, our residents, with many fond memories.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the prayers that were sent up for me as I traveled to Columbia and back home to Union each week. I truly appreciate your kindnesses shown to me and your support you gave to me as I conducted the business and made the decisions that continue to impact the lives of all South Carolinians.
As I leave office, I urge you to continue to be involved in the legislative process through the representative for SC House District 42-your voice in Columbia. We all must strive to stay abreast of important legislation coming before the delegates in the SC House of Representatives because your voice is the deciding factor as it is conveyed by the representative of our area.
Again, thank you for your support, confidence, and trust during my tenure in the South Carolina House of Representatives.
In an interview with The Union Times, Anthony discussed his reasons for retiring from public life.
“The biggest thing is my wife, Dale, is retiring after 38 years of teaching in June,” Anthony said Monday morning. “My last day (as representative) I’m told will be the Sunday after the election in November when the new guy takes over. My wife is retiring and we want to spend more time together and spend more time with our family. I feel very strongly about this and feel now is the right time.”
Prior to his election to his first term in 2002, Anthony had been Head Football Coach at Union High School and had guided the team to three state championships during his tenure. Before coming to Union High School, Anthony had worked at four other schools — Saluda, Easley, Batesburg-Leesville, and Greenville County — and each time he went to work at one of these schools his family had to move to those communities. Anthony said that each time he decided to move to another school, his wife supported his decision.
“Over the 42 years of our marriage we had to move five times,” Anthony said. “When I’d say to her that I was looking at Batesburg-Leesville, looking at Greenville, she would pack us up and move. She did this five times over the years.”
Anthony said that because of her support of the career choices he has made over the course of their marriage he owes his wife a great debt that he wants to repay by retiring from public life and devoting the years ahead to her and their family.
”I feel I owe it to her and the family to do this, to spend more time with them,” Anthony said.
Anthony’s announcement means that for the first time since 2002 there will be no incumbent on the ballot for the SC House District 42 seat.
Filing for the Democratic and Republican primaries for the District 42 seat and other partisan races that will be on the November ballot opens in March.
SC House District 42 is composed of Union County and part of Laurens County.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.