A commercial real estate agent whose family also operates a dairy farm is on her way to winning a seat as South Carolina’s newest legislator.
Ashley Trantham easily took the most votes among the four candidates in Tuesday’s Republican primary for House District 28, winning 58 percent of ballots cast. The next closest candidate hospital admissions counselor Krystal Blume received 20 percent support. Since no Democratic candidate has filed to run, Trantham will almost certainly win in January’s special election.
She will replace State Rep. Eric Beddingfield, R-Belton, who will leave the House for a government liaison job with Greenville Technical College. Bedingfield’s last day in office will the January 16 special election. Bedingfield has represented the southern Greenville County district since 2007.
Trantham helps operate Happy Cow Creamery in Pelzer with her husband, but recently began working in commercial real estate the past three years. This was her first run for elected office, but Trantham had been introduced to local politics when she pushed for a new turn lane outside her children’s elementary school in the mid-2000s.
“After I received a call asking if I’d be willing to step in and run for Eric’s seat, initially I thought wow, that’s a huge sacrifice,” she told South Carolina Radio Network. “My children are older, but I just started making money in real estate. And I knew that was going to take away from my job.”
Trantham said she has tried not promising too much and made “I Hear Ya” part of a campaign tagline that she would also try to listen to voters or constituents.
“It’s easy to get up there, stomp and yell and pitch a fit and say everything’s corrupt, everything’s bad and you’re going to do this, this and this,” she said. “And I just think folks are tired of that. They’re just ready for someone who’s willing to say, you know what, I do have a lot to learn. I’m willing to learn and I’m ready to serve.”
She said she would work to defend the Second Amendment and stop abortion during her time in Columbia.
District 28 covers the rural communities immediately south of the Greenville suburbs, including Pelzer and parts of Belton, Fountain Inn, Piedmont and Williamston. It is heavily conservative.