Fletcher Smith is facing a rare and spirited renomination challenge from Greenville City Council member Chandra Dillard in House District 23.
...Smith is a Greenville attorney who hasn't had primary or general election opposition since 2000 when he defeated Republican Lawrence Acker by a more than two-to-one margin in the solidly Democratic district.
The winner of the June 10 Smith-Dillard primary will face Republican Justin Alexander in the Nov. 4 general election.Smith
offering voters his
experience and record in promoting initiatives in education, economic development and affordable health care.He is vice chairman of Greenville County's legislative delegation, the General Assembly's biggest, and is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Judicial Merit Selection Commission, the body that vets prospective judges.
In the current session, Smith
has raised questions about racial profiling amid a number of incidents involving the state Highway Patrol and has pushed a bill that would allow military service personnel ages 18-20 to buy alcoholic beverages.The bill remains in committee.
Dillard says Smith
isn't tending to legislative business.
...In announcing the endorsement, CVSC Executive Director Ann Timberlake said, "The choice was clear given Chandra Dillard's commitment to our natural resources while serving on Greenville City Council and Fletcher Smith's consistent non-voting record which has earned him a zero on our annual environmental scorecard.
said in reference to Dillard's claim on Smith's voting record.He
said Dillard's contention ignores the House's numerous voice votes and his
role on the Judicial Merit Selection Commission
."When I'm sitting there, I can't take a vote," Smith said, noting his role in the selection of a number of Upstate jurists, including Appeals Court Judges John Kitteridge and Aphrodite Konduras and Supreme Court justice Donald Beatty, only the second black justice since Reconstruction.
...As a practicing attorney, Smith said he has on occasion missed votes because he had to be in court.Smith
didn't mind not getting the conservationists' endorsement.
"I told them a long time ago that I'm not for radical environmentalism, that when they come in and try to devalue the property of black and poor white landowners in rural areas by keeping them from selling their property at fair market values, I'm against that.As a result, I supported a strong property rights bill and I'm a member of a group of environmentalists that believe in not only protecting the environment but protecting our small businesses from the radical environmentalists," Smith
, a 10-year legislative veteran, said "even if (Dillard) shows up in Columbia every day as a freshman, she'll have no influence whatsoever.
State Ethics Commission reports show Smith
has raised $2,500 and had $2,300 in available cash as of April 10.
Donating to Smith
were, Fulton & Barr Law Firm of Greenville
, $500; Randolph McKetty & Associates of Greer
, $250; Cathryn Stevens of Greenville, $80; and Dillard, $20.