The longest-serving legislator in the South Carolina House announced Tuesday that this will be his last year in the chamber.
State Rep. Grady Brown, D-Bishopville, made the announcement during a brief speech to the chamber. Brown has represented Lee County in the chamber since 1985 and works as a barber in his private life. He served on the Lee County Council prior to that. House District 50 also includes portions of Kershaw and Sumter counties. Brown also hosts a Sunday afternoon beach music show that airs in the Pee Dee region.
Brown has worked mostly as a backbencher during his service in the House. Most of the legislation he sponsored that passed successfully dealt with issues in his district, such as authorizing the local school board to raise bonds or regulating fishing on lakes in Lee County. His most significant legislation on a statewide basis was likely a 1997 law that allowed drivers the option to get a restricted license if their previous one was under suspension or revoked.
During last summer’s debate on the Confederate battle flag’s removal from Statehouse grounds, Brown hinted his vote to take down the flag could cost him reelection this year. “I’ve got a lot of people who’ve told me back home, ‘Grady, if you vote to take it down, I’ve never voted against you, but…’” he said at the time. “But if this has to be my sayonara, so be it.” Brown joined all other Democrats in voting to remove the flag.
State Rep. Greg Delleney, R-Chester, would be the longest-serving member of the House once Brown retires this fall. Delleney has served in the chamber since 1991.