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Two in running for Georgetown area House seat

Both men vying for the House District 103 seat in the June 8 Democratic primary have experience serving terms in that very same office.

Rep. Carl Anderson, 49, a minister from Georgetown, has held the seat since 2005.

Ted Brown, 49, an optician from Hemingway, was in office representing District 103, which covers Georgetown and Williamsburg counties, from 1995 to 2000. After his term expired, Brown made an unsuccessful bid for the Senate District 32 seat challenging Sen. John Yancey McGill of Kingstree.

Read more previews of state and local primary races

The Sun News sent questionnaires to both candidates on issues such as the state budget, property reassessments and a transportation solution for Sandy Island residents. Candidates were asked to keep their responses brief.

Question | Why are you running for re-election?

Anderson | Because of my experience and being No. 70 in the House of Representatives seniority system, and upon being re-elected on June 8 will be No. 62 or lower. Georgetown does not need to lose that seniority or residence seat.

Brown | My calling as a public servant demands that I serve the greatest need for our area. We need jobs, improved education, and serious issues addressed. I can fully serve without any conflicts of interests due to issues or time.

Q. | What are some solutions for fixing the issues with Act 388 to help school districts? (The state law swaps sales tax for property taxes for funding school district operations. Owner-occupied homes are exempt from school district taxes for operating costs. This means school districts are limited in their ability to raise revenue during tough economic times.)

Anderson | I have consistently supported funding flexibility for public schools. I will continue to offer reasonable solutions such as House Bill 4755. I will fight any efforts to further erode tax dollars away from the classroom and our deserving teachers.

Brown | I propose shifting more lottery money to kindergarten through 12th grade education to help school districts offset reduced funding due to lower state revenue. Also, we must create more jobs in the area.

Q | How will you handle the budget crisis in 2011-2012, where there is expected to be a $1.2 billion shortfall?

Anderson | We are trying to get 2010-2011 budget passed and then hopefully our economy will pick back up so the shortfall for 2011-2012 will not be that much. We did pass the cigarette tax that will help with health care.

Brown | I propose a toll road on I-95 with exemptions for S.C. residents. I-95 travelers use our roads daily by the thousands. Other states use toll revenues to fund state budgets; let's do the same to help our state.

Q. | What potential legislative fixes are there for counties and cities that face losing money due to reassessments because of Act 388? (Because of the property tax caps built into Act 388, municipalities' hands are tied in their ability to adjust millage during reassessment.)

Anderson | When the actual assessor's office assessments are sent out to property owners and these assessments are much lower than in previous years, then the only feasible answer to the lack of revenue, is to raise the millage, which only county and city councils have the ability to do.

Brown | We must revise our state tax code and make it reflect the present times we live in.

Q. | What do you plan to do to support the Port of Georgetown, which needs about $9 million to dredge to 27 feet?

Anderson | The delegation has asked our Congressional Delegation for the money, and they have agreed to support Georgetown with this project.

Brown | We are fortunate in this state and our area to have Rep. James E. Clyburn. I will make every effort to see that the Port of Georgetown gets the federal funding we need to create jobs and businesses.

Q. | Do you support state funding to provide a transportation solution for Sandy Island residents?

Anderson | Rep. [Vida] Miller and [I] passed Bill 3627 (The bill authorizes use of state-owned school boat for Sandy Island) that would have cost no more than $15,000, and the Department of Education was willing to assist. The issue was taken over by Georgetown County Council and now Coast [RTA] is requesting matching funds of more than $100,000. It is a shame it has taken this long, and the people of Sandy Island are still without transportation.

Brown | I support state school transportation for school-age students, along with an automobile ferry to assist these taxpaying residents. Sandy Island residents' input is critical for finding a transportation solution.

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