The education chairman of the South Carolina House of Representatives said Tuesday that he will not seek reelection this fall.
State Rep. Phil Owens, R-Easley, told his fellow lawmakers at the House GOP Caucus meeting he will retire once his term ends this fall. The news was first reported by the Associated Press.
“There just comes a time where you need to move on to other things,” he told South Carolina Radio Network afterwards. “I don’t think that serving in this body should be a career. I think it should be a service that you provide for a period of time and then you move on.”
The 62-year-old Republican was first elected to the House in 2000. He has since become that chamber’s point man on education issues for the GOP. He chairs the House Education and Public Works Committee, which also oversees transportation issues. His most significant accomplishment may be his efforts to create a more favorable climate for charter schools to flourish.
Owens, who left the business world after selling his textile company in 1998, said he hasn’t had a chance to “enjoy retirement” yet. He said he wants to spend more time with his family, especially his father and first grandchild.
He is the sixth member of the House to announce his retirement. Also leaving the chamber after this year are Republican Reps. Liston Barfield, R-Aynor; Andy Patrick, R-Hilton Head; B.R. Skelton, R-Six Mile; Roland Smith, R-Warrenville and Democrat State Rep. Ted Vick, D-Chesterfield.