A powerful Midlands legislator who was once the top Republican in the South Carolina House will not seek reelection this fall, according to a report in The State newspaper.
State Rep. Kenny Bingham, R-Cayce, told the paper he plans to retire after 16 years in the chamber. The owner of an engineer consulting firm was serving as chairman of the Lexington District 2 board of trustees when he was first elected to represent House District 89 back in 2000.
Since his election, Bingham led the House Republican Caucus from 2008 until 2012, helping grow the party to its largest-ever membership in the House. He also chairs the House Ethics Committee and usually serves as the point man for education funding issues in the chamber.
He unsuccessfully sought the House Speaker position in 2014 after previous Speaker Bobby Harrell resigned due to his conviction on ethics charges. However, he withdrew from the race after it became apparent that Acting Speaker Jay Lucas had secured enough pledged votes to win.
Bingham told The State he wanted to take a “respite” from politics after eight sessions in the State House.