October 2, 2015
NEWBERRY — Newberry businessman Rick Martin filed financial documents with the State Ethics Commission on Thursday to begin his campaign for House District 40 in 2016.
Martin, who will be challenging incumbent Democrat Walt McLeod, said his decision to run again was because nothing has changed.
“State legislators talk and talk, but nothing gets done,” said Martin, a Republican. “Since the last election you would not believe how many people have called saying that ‘nothing has changed’ and asked ‘will you run again?’”
Martin said a common sense approach is needed for what is currently going on. Martin said he wants to get in there — Columbia — and fight for better roads and for more economic development.
“We have crumbling roads,” Martin said. “People in Newberry County know we are in rough shape and the state is in rough shape.”
Martin said he has received calls from the Greenwood County line to the Chapin and Laurens lines, urging him to run.
Martin said the 2016 presidential election will have a high voter turnout, which could help him turn the tide.
“The polls showed I was way ahead (last time), but people did not come out and vote,” Martin said.
McLeod said people have been telling him for months that Martin said he would be a candidate for the District 40 House of Representatives seat.
“I’m not surprised to learn he has filed a required campaign disclosure report,” McLeod said Thursday.
McLeod said his intention was to seek re-election in the 2016 election cycle. He said he thinks he is in good health and spirits to do so.
“I enjoy being of service to the citizens of Newberry County and enjoy their friendship and support and look forward to working with them,” McLeod said.
McLeod said he voted in favor of a 10-cent per gallon increase in the gasoline tax so that approximately $600 million could be generated for improved roadways in South Carolina.
“Unfortunately, the Senate never did reach that bill on their calendar,” McLeod said.
McLeod said that Gov. Nikki Haley insisted on having a decrease in the state income tax bracket by eliminating the seven percent bracket and having the highest at five percent, which complicated the matter.
“I’m hoping the Senate and Gov. Haley will come to their senses in January 2016 because the roadways of our state and county desperately need improving,” McLeod said. “I was pleased to vote for the increase and am hopeful that the Senate will carefully consider and support that proposal starting in January.”