Finlay III: Savvy and independent

jmonk@thestate.comNovember 4, 2012 

Attorney Leighton Lord

C. ALUKA BERRY — caberry@thestate.com Buy Photo

— Leighton Lord has known Republican Kirkman Finlay III for years and has no doubt he would do a great job representing House District 75.

“Kirkman is a farmer and a small businessman — he’s got two different areas of expertise,” said Lord, 49, a partner in the Columbia law firm of Nexsen Pruet.

“He’s opened a lot of small businesses, and he knows what it takes to open a small business, to employ people, get permits and run a small business,” Lord said.

“He also has a pretty extensive farming operation, and agriculture’s extremely important for South Carolina,” Lord said.

Business and farming are two vital areas lawmakers need to understand, Lord said.

Lord said when Finlay was on Columbia City Council, he demonstrated he “wasn’t afraid to take on hard issues, and he would spend the time to dissect the budget — city salaries, pensions, the water system and all that. Kirkman dug down and understood those issues.”

Finlay has a streak of independence that will allow him to challenge the Republican leadership from time to time, Lord said.

“I think we need a little bit of that in the General Assembly,” Lord said. “Nobody’s going to say he’s not independent.”

Finlay will work to make state government more accountable and transparent, Lord said.

And Finlay would be frugal with taxpayers’ money and not support wasteful projects, Lord said.

“He wouldn’t support a string bean museum,” Lord said, referring to a pork barrel project in Lexington County. “That’s the kind of thing we need a lawmaker to raise his hand, stand up and say, ‘This isn’t right.’”

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