We got the opportunity to get to know State House Candidate Bobby Cox and get insight on his campaign, motives and personal values.
What made you decide to run for the State House?
- After moving back home from the military, I felt the burden to change the culture of our state government. We have a trust issue with our elected officials in Columbia. There is a lack of integrity in how politicians serve which has created a culture that does not reflect the values of every day South Carolinians. Career politicians make promises they don’t keep and end up making everyone’s life harder. This culture has resulted in higher taxes, wasteful spending, and rampant corruption. Too much is at stake to maintain this status quo. I’m running because I want to bring valued based leadership to Columbia along with conservative reform. I’ve lived by a code my whole adult life whether it was the Honor Code at The Citadel or the Ranger Creed in the Army which demands ethical conduct in your everyday life. We should expect the same from our elected officials and I will ensure that is the case when elected. Our elected officials should be inspiring and courageous in tackling the problems of our state, not be the source of them.
Tell us about your background, and how that motivates you to run.
- My life has always been about service. Ever since I can remember I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself that was impacting the greater good. This desire naturally led me to explore the military after hearing stories from my father and grandfather about their own service in Vietnam and World War II. I attended The Citadel to test this desire for service. During my senior year, the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred which solidified my desire of going into the military. I knew that good men and women were heading into harm’s way to fight for our country and I wanted to serve with them and lead them if given the chance. I became an Army Ranger and ended up deploying four times to combat in Iraq. I transitioned to the Army Reserves, attended business school, along with moving back home to the Greenville area. As I learned about the challenges facing us as a state, I felt called to bring my experiences to address these issues. I’m motivated to run because I want to secure a brighter future for our children and their children.
What would be your top legislative priority if you were elected to the state house?
- Our state is facing a litany of issues from unsafe roads, high taxes, broken utilities, funding getting to the classrooms and so on. We’ve tried solving these issues and others by sending the same politicians over and over to represent us but we keep getting the same results. To change the culture and cycle you have to change the people. As long as career politicians are serving special interests and are unaccountable in the conduct of their office, we’ll stay stagnate with the same pressing issues. That’s why ethics reform and term limits are essential to ensuring we get servant minded officials in office that are making decisions with the best intentions in mind for the future of our state.
Currently, the General Assembly is debating the state budget. Would you support the current budget, and if not, what are your issues with it?
- No. The budget is full of pork-barrel spending and funds planned parenthood which goes against the conservative principles of the district I wish to represent. I believe in transparent discussion in reforming the redundancy that we see in our state government. We as a district are disappointed that our current representative, Phyllis Henderson, supports the budget. Instead of increasing the size of government, the legislature should promote initiatives such as smart growth in our state instead of reactive political measures that are shortsighted and just a band aid to the problem of our infrastructure and development needs.
You are challenging an incumbent. What separates you as a candidate from your opponent?
- I don’t want to be a career politician. I believe elected office is a season of service where you bring new fresh ideas from your experiences, serve the state and then go back home. There are too many people in office that have lost touch with their constituents. It’s human nature. That’s exactly what has happened with my opponent. I’m a servant leader who pledges to serve only 8 years if elected. Also, I pledge to donate my legislator salary to veterans’ organization helping our warriors combat opioid addiction. My military, business, and leadership experience really set me a part.
Fun Fact about you or your family
- My last active duty assignment in the Army was at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. Our children were fairly young while we lived in the nation’s capital but they were still aware of their surroundings. My daughter, Reagan, loved the city because she thought they had named a lot of the iconic buildings there after her. Whenever we flew out of Reagan National Airport she would always call it her airport. Too cute not to correct.