The Rock Hill region’s longest-serving legislator indicated Tuesday he will not seek a seat in Congress should it open later this year, as expected.
State Rep. Gary Simrill, R-Rock Hill, is set to begin his first year as the South Carolina House majority leader. He has served in the chamber for 24 years and last year led a subcommittee responsible for transportation funding.
His name had been included among those considering a run to replace U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney. The four-term Republican has been nominated to a critical budget post in the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump. Should Mulvaney be approved by the Senate later this spring, his seat would open for a special election.
“Upon setting out to explore a possible Congressional run, I made it clear my priority was to seek the place I could be the most effective for the citizens of York County and our state as a whole,” Simrill told the Rock Hill Herald. “Right now, that doesn’t involve me going to Congress.”
Besides his career in the House, Simrill also owns a specialty auto dealership.
So far, State Rep. Ralph Norman, R-Rock Hill, has indicated he will run for the seat if it opens. Also rumored to be considering a run on the Republican side is former SCGOP Chairman Chad Connelly. Democrats expressing interest in the seat include State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, D-Kershaw, and State Rep. John King, D-Rock Hill.