Property Tax Reform Passes House Unanimously

COLUMBIA–On Thursday, a property tax assessment reform bill introduced by Rep. Rick Martin (R-Newberry) passed the House of Representatives unanimously. The bill passed the Ways and Means Committee favorably on Wednesday before heading to the House floor. H. 3463, designed to protect agricultural property from being taxed at residential, commercial, or industrial rates, passed its second reading by a bipartisan vote of 98-0. Continue reading

Speaker Lucas: House Passes Infrastructure Funding and Reform Bill

(Columbia, SC) – House Speaker Jay Lucas (District 65-Darlington) issued the following statement after the House passed H. 3516, the SC Infrastructure and Economic Development Reform Act, by an overwhelming and bipartisan vote of 97-18. The bill will be given third reading tomorrow and then sent to the Senate for consideration.

“Fixing South Carolina’s dangerous roads and bridges should be the greatest priority for this legislative session. Refusing to compromise will not solve our roads problem, but simply places politics above responsible public policy.  A delayed resolution continues to threaten the safety of South Carolina drivers and increases costs for repair and resurfacing of decaying roads and bridges. Continue reading

PRESS RELEASE: Speaker Lucas: House Ways and Means Committee Passes Roads Bill

House Ways and Means Committee Passes Roads Bill

Includes Long-term Funding and Governance Reform

(Columbia, SC) – House Speaker Jay Lucas (District 65-Darlington) issued the following statement after the Ways and Means Committee amended and adopted H. 3516. The bill will be added to the House legislative calendar next week for debate in the coming weeks. Continue reading

PRESS RELEASE: South Carolina Department of Agriculture Has Taken Regulatory Action Against B&H Foods of Chester

COLUMBIA- The South Carolina Department of Agriculture Consumer Protection Division took regulatory action today against B&H Foods located at 181 Saluda Street, Chester, and revoked the company’s Registration Verification Certificate (RVC) after Listeria monocytogenes was found in the finished product. Without the RVC permit, the company is prohibited from producing, distributing and selling any products until the RVC has been reinstated. B&H Foods produces Ruth’s Salads for the Charlotte-based company. Continue reading

Martin Introduces Bill for Farm Tax Protection

COLUMBIA—State Rep. Rick Martin (R-40) introduced a piece of legislation on Thursday designed to protect agricultural land from being taxed at residential or commercial rates.

The introduced bill, H. 3463, would provide that if any property was assessed as agricultural property, farm machinery or equipment for 2016, that property must continue to be taxed at agricultural rates as long as it retains its agricultural use. The bill currently resides in the House Committee on Ways and Means. Continue reading

Bear Arms CrossFit Holds Grand Opening

NEWBERRY—On Saturday, Bear Arms CrossFit opened its doors with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its location on Victory Street. Owners Ryan and Caroline Smith treated a healthy crowd to an opening workout, refreshments, and a drawing for two free one-month memberships. State Rep. Rick Martin, Mayor Foster Senn, Newberry College President Maurice Scherrens, and Executive Director Michelle Long of the Newberry Chamber of Commerce were among those in attendance. Continue reading

Martin Elected to S.C. State House

NEWBERRY, S.C.–On Election night, Nov. 8, Republican businessman Rick Martin was elected to represent Newberry County in the South Carolina House of Representatives. Martin won with nearly 59% of the vote, becoming the first Republican to be elected to the District 40 seat.

Martin addressed supporters at a watch party in Prosperity on Tuesday night, saying “this victory doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to you. You made this happen.”

The final count awarded Martin 9,714 votes, which allowed him to carry 21 of 30 county precincts. Martin’s opponent, Democrat Carlton Kinard, received 6,801 votes.


Contest results map. Source: South Carolina Election Commission

When Martin’s term of office begins on Nov. 14, he will succeed long-time Representative Walt McLeod (D), who, after nearly twenty years of service in that office, announced his retirement last October. Martin resides in Newberry with his wife, Fran, their four daughters and one foster child.


Mulvaney to Visit Newberry


NEWBERRY–United States Congressman Mick Mulvaney, who represents South Carolina’s 5th congressional district, will visit Newberry on October 28. The congressman will meet with supporters at the Grille on Main, located at 1212 Main Street, beginning at noon Friday. Following the meet-and-greet, he plans to walk through downtown Newberry and tour local small businesses. Tomorrow’s visit will conclude his week-long whistle stop district tour, and it comes just 11 days before the general election.

In January, Congressman Mulvaney endorsed Newberry businessman Rick Martin for the office of State House Representative for District 40. In his endorsement of Martin, the Congressman said, “Rick is a good solid conservative and I will help him in any way I can.”

Mulvaney, whose district includes the eastern part of Newberry County, was elected to Congress in 2010 and is currently seeking re-election.

Newberry Begins Early Voting

NEWBERRY–Absentee voting, otherwise known as early voting, is happening now at the Newberry County Election Commission, located at 1872 Wilson Road next to Piedmont Technical College. Voters who are age 65 or older, disabled, or will not be available to vote in person on Election Day (November 8) are eligible to cast their ballots ahead of time. The election office is open Mon-Fri, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, and absentee ballots may be cast until 5:00 pm on November 7.

Voters who wish to vote absentee need only visit the election commission office, show photo ID (e.g. a driver’s license), and vote. For all voters who plan to vote on Election Day, the polls are open 7 am-7 pm on Tuesday, November 8. To locate your voting precinct and view your sample ballot, click here.

Rick Martin endorsed by U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan


NEWBERRY, S.C…..Rick Martin, candidate for the South Carolina House of Representatives from District 40, has earned the full endorsement of United States Congressman Jeff Duncan, who represents part of Newberry County in Washington.

“Rick Martin is a successful small businessman, a great husband, and father. Rick will work hard for the people of Newberry and I encourage everyone to support him this November,” said Duncan. Duncan has served South Carolina’s third congressional district since 2011.
“I am honored to have the support of such a dedicated, outstanding public servant as Congressman Duncan, and if elected, I will work tirelessly for the people of Newberry,” said Martin.
Martin is running to replace State Rep. Walt McLeod, who announced in October 2015 that he would not seek re-election this November. McLeod has represented District 40 in the State House since 1997. Martin has also been endorsed by 4 others, including Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-SC-05), former Newberry County Republican Party chair Alan Gardner and current chair Cole Lawrimore, and Chad Connelly, Director of the Republican National Committee’s Faith Engagement Initiative.
The announcement comes one month before the general election, which will take place on Tuesday, November 8.