In this space over the last several months, we’ve listed reason after reason why Mick Mulvaney is the wrong choice to represent South Carolina’s fifth Congressional district. Those reasons include his inability to get along well with his colleagues, his disdain for working with his opposition, his lack of respect for the needs of women, his cozy relationship with lobbyists and special interests, his office-hopping ambition, his failure to accomplish anything substantive, his evident hypocrisy, and his failure to adhere to his stated principles. With infinite time, we could list dozens more reasons why we feel strongly that he is unfit for the office he currently occupies. He helped himself to the use of public funds to support his private real estate projects in Lancaster County, but opposes using public financing to help South Carolina’s young people attend college, South Carolina businesspeople expand their business, and South Carolina families get their first home. He has fought for corporate interests, the same ones that fund his campaigns, without regard for their impact on the people he represents. His disinclination to learn about science forces him to deny climate change, deny the effects of the Zika virus, and misunderstand many of our most pressing national issues.
However, there are things Mick Mulvaney is actually correct about. He believes that those who wish to come to the United States to work should be given a path to do so and a chance to have legal status. He believes that legislators often overstay their welcome, and use their incumbency as a means to keep themselves and their plush positions on a fairly permanent basis. It is this belief of his that we wish to touch upon presently.
Mick Mulvaney has occupied his seat in Congress for three full terms. During that time, he has made no appreciable impact on his district nor has he improved the lives of his constituents in any measurable way. He has not been a force in bringing jobs to this district. He has not used his ability to write and pass legislation responsibly, instead penning unpassable bills that support special interests and failing to build consensus for bills that fairly represent his core beliefs. We believe Mr. Mulvaney is a fairly talented individual. However, his talents as a legislator are sorely lacking. The position for which he seeks a fourth term requires the ability to make positive impressions, build coalitions, and read the needs of his constituents. He has shown no ability to do any of these things.
There is a better alternative this election. Running against Mick Mulvaney is a young man who has witnessed consensus building at arm’s length at the highest levels of government for nearly a decade. Mulvaney’s opponent is an energetic, hard-working gentleman whose life has revolved around teamwork and service, two virtues that Mr. Mulvaney has in short supply. Fran Person is just 34 years old, but he has seen more world capitals, been in more high-level meetings, and witnessed more personal diplomacy than Mick Mulvaney has in his career. Detractors may point out that Fran Person has never occupied public office before. Alternatively, some may see this as a benefit. Fran Person has a competitive spirit and does not shy away from a fight. As one of seven children, six of whom played Division I football, competitiveness was inculcated into him at a young age. His competitive spirit was recognized by Coach Lou Holtz, who brought him to South Carolina to play for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. That same competitiveness will undoubtedly continue to inspire Mr. Person with an infectious desire to not only learn the job of a congressman, but to be the best possible congressman for the citizens of the fifth Congressional district. His virtues are perfectly compatible with that of an ideal elected official: he is a good listener, he is a solid family man, and he has a wealth of knowledge without the arrogance of someone who believes he knows everything. His faith is strong and his belief in the importance of teamwork is borne out on his resume.
Fran Person is not Joe Biden, but there is no more effective model of a servant of the public interest, one we should yearn for our children to look up to, than Mr. Biden. Person’s close working relationship to Mr. Biden would be the envy of any member of Congress, except perhaps for Mr. Mulvaney, who believes he can work all on his own.
From Sumter to Newberry, from Gaffney to York, from Fort Mill to Winnsboro, this district is diverse, growing, and full of good people. Those people deserve a representative who believes doing good is better than doing nothing. If you believe that South Carolina is best served by a team player, if you believe this district deserves an energetic and moral representative to work for its families and business people, and if you believe that we can do better than what we have seen for the last six years, I encourage a vote for Mr. Fran Person.