Local voice: Senate 23’s Knotts ‘tells it like it is’

tflach@thestate.comNovember 4, 2012 

— Betty Slusher is standing firm with State Sen. Jake Knotts in his re-election bid at Tuesday’s ballot to repay him for his assistance in the past.

Knotts regularly came to her aid as Slusher endured legal proceedings that culminated in the 1998 execution of two half-brothers who murdered her first husband in the 1977 robbery of a South Congaree gas station.

That support is typical of Knotts during 18 years as a lawmaker, she said.

“He helps so many people that he doesn’t talk about,” she said.

Slusher, 79, sees that side of him during her volunteer work as an advocate for crime victims.

She shrugs off suggestions that Knotts sometimes is obstinate and relies on a style that others call crude.

“They call him a bulldog, and I’m glad he’s that way,” she said. “He tells it like it is. He doesn’t pull no punches.”

Slusher doesn’t always agree with Knotts on things like his support for gambling.

But she’s comfortable that Knotts regularly puts the interests of common folks first in steps that range from sponsoring a skating party for honor-roll students to thwarting proposals advocated by Gov. Nikki Haley and other state leaders.

“He looks out for people first and foremost,” she said.

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