With all the attention on the statewide and Congressional races, VUI thought it would take a moment to point out an odd race in Berkeley County. United States First District Congressman Henry Brown announced that he was retiring from the United States Congress after serving 10 years. After 16 years in the South Carolina House before that and a career as an executive for the PIggly Wiggly grocery stores, it seemed as if Congressman Brown was really retiring.
Well, Brown is not. Instead Congressman Brown is seeking the office of Supervisor of Berkeley County. The elected office of Supervisor is a throwback to local South Carolina government history, and only three other counties in the state elect such. The other 42 counties allow for their county councils to hire a country administrator or manager to run the day to day operations of county government.
That said, what is striking about Brown’s move is that he is running against an old political friend in incumbent Dan Davis. Davis gave support and money to Brown over the years. Brown also faces Minnie Blackwell in the Republican Primary.
From what VUI understands, the race is Congressman Brown’s to lose. Brown has the money, the local political support and the momentum to win and perhaps win big.
What bugs VUI is why a retiring Congressman would even want such a job. As such, we asked around the low country and we were told by a politico, who would not go on the record with his name, that Brown felt forced into retirement and this race for Berkeley County Supervisor was an effort to save face.
Frankly, we found that hard to believe, but it came from a politico we find it easy to believe. If a man like Brown, who served a decade in Congress and 16 years in the SC House feels he has anything left to prove, well, that is unfortunate. Because, frankly, a man with kind of life resume has nothing to prove to anyone and those who think he does are likely wannabes and never gonnabes. A man of accomplishment should never let those types make him feel he has something to prove.
Whatever the reason, Congressman Brown’s road home is unprecedented. No sitting Congressman from South Carolina has ever given up his seat in Congress to run for a county office. Perhaps Brown wants to be known as the only one. Congressman Brown’s entry into the race makes watching the results of Berkeley County elections interesting and makes that race one of the most interesting local races in the state.