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State Sen. Bright visits Jasper, supports proposed port

First Byline: 
Sherry R. Brunson

About 20 people were at a reception for State Sen. Lee Bright last Friday at the Hardeeville Holiday Inn Express. Bright, a conservative Republican, in his sixth year as state senator, has decided to throw his hat in the ring for U.S. Senator against incumbent Lindsey Graham.
The reception was hosted by Bob Frantz, a Sun City resident.
Bright aggressively spoke of key issues of national concern.
"We don't have a tax problem - we have a spending problem," Bright said. "Washington has some of the 10 wealthiest counties in the country in the area around it so they haven't felt what we have felt. We want government out of our lives and people free to choose. Many issues need to be handled by the states. The state should be more powerful."
Bright said when he was first elected someone told him that representatives look out for their districts but senators look out for the state.
As a result, he said he has maintained an interest in the entire state, including Jasper County and has worked some towards the creation of the Jasper Port.
"I think the port is something that we need to do," Bright said. "Especially since we have those in the private sector who are interested in the project."
A Spartanburg native, Bright is married with two children.
He is director of business development for BBD, LLC and operates a trucking brokerage business.
His districts include Spartanburg County and part of Greenville County. He previously served on the Spartanburg County District 6 School Board.
He has been endorsed by Rep. Mark Sanford and Gov. Nikki Haley.
Bright is a strong privacy advocate. He co-sponsored legislation that prohibits law enforcement from using unmanned aerial vehicles for purposes of surveillance without first obtaining a search warrant as well as legislation that protects portable electronic communications devices from searches without a search warrant.
Thanks to the Agenda 21 Protection Act, cosponsored by Bright, the state cannot adopt or develop environmental or developmental policies that would infringe or restrict the private property rights of property owners.
"If we (the Republican Party) get the majority back then we need to lead," Bright said. "The Republicans need to learn to get things done. In the past, when they have been in control they want to be sure everyone is happy and around and sing Kumbaya. I believe Republicans and Democrats can work together.
"When I grew up the word compromise meant each side gives a little bit. Our president is acting as a dictator. Whatever law you pass he does what he wants.
"The states should be offering the solution. We should return the power to the states.
"This current trust in government scares me."
Bright said he believes the politicians in Washington, D.C. can change if the voters show they want something different.
"Politicians, for the most part, want to get re-elected," he said. "If you convince them that it is in their best interest to change, then they will move."
Bright said he disagrees with the current policy in which legislators appoint positions on state committees.
"In my opinion the county council should make those appointments and they should represent the county," he said.
"One of the reasons that I am running against Lindsey Graham is because I want to push the power back to the state. I am a Republican because I believe in the platform."