© 2024 WFAE

Mailing Address:
8801 J.M. Keynes Dr. Ste. 91
Charlotte NC 28262
Tax ID: 56-1803808
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Rock Hill's Gary Simrill won't run for reelection to the SC House

The South Carolina House’s longest serving Republican said he is not going to run for reelection this year.

S.C. state Rep. Gary Simrill of Rock Hill is seen in an undated photo he posted to Facebook.
Gary Simrill
S.C. state Rep. Gary Simrill of Rock Hill is seen in an undated photo he posted to Facebook.

House Majority Leader Gary Simrill told The State newspaper that he felt it was time to leave the House after 30 years. The 56-year-old from Rock Hill said he didn’t specify his next plans but said it’s time for a new generation to take over.

“I want to continue to be, I want to have purpose,” Simrill told the newspaper. “There are stages of life. This stage is time for a close. The next stage is really to begin (something) purposeful.”

Simrill’s biggest legislative achievements have involved compromise. He steered a gas tax increase in 2017 that led to a boom of road widening and repaving projects after business leaders said the state roads were so bad they might hurt the economy.

In 2019, Simrill helped broker a deal that led to $120 million in tax breaks for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers to build a new practice facility and team headquarters in Rock Hill while the team continues to play in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Simrill was first elected to the House in 1992 after volunteering on Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaigns. He has always been a Republican. His late father, Hugh Simrill, was a House member from 1958 to 1964.

Simrill could run his party’s line, calling for a cloture vote to put an abrupt end to a debate or taking advantage of a Democratic walkout during an abortion debate to get rid of their amendments. But he also sought compromise. He said he did not like the new type of politics where slogans were bigger than substance.

“I think social media has changed politics a lot and the dynamics of it. I don’t say that it’s for the good, because I think we’re more topical and have less depth of subjects. And, again, we get involved in the bumper sticker of things,” Simrill said. “We are hung up in bumper sticker politics; we are hung up in verbiage.”

Sign up for our daily headlines newsletter

Select Your Email Format

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.