Reaction from S.C. lawmakers, political party officials and government stakeholders to news that state Rep. Rick Quinn, R-Lexington, has been indicted on misconduct-in-office charges:
‘Sad day for South Carolina’
"It’s a sad day for the institution of the House of Representatives, and it's a sad day for South Carolina. Public service is difficult and when things like this occur, it shines a light on why we need to have even stronger ethics laws, and, hopefully, we can continue to work in that area."
– State Rep. Gary Clary, R-Pickens
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‘Root problem is the money’
“If I was going to short-list people that I predicted to be indicted when this thing started, I would have put Quinn in the top four or five. It's another indictment of the public corruption in our political system. The root problem is the money being raised.”
– John Crangle with the S.C. Progressive Network
‘This is what happens’
"The Republicans control the (S.C.) House. They control the (S.C.) Senate. They control six out of seven congressional seats. This is what happens when Republicans control all of state government creating one set of rules for themselves and one set of rules for the rest of people trying to make ends meet in South Carolina."
– S.C. Democratic Party chairman Trav Robertson
‘Everyone was expecting this’
"It's disappointing, but I think everyone was expecting this to come at some point. ... (I)t's important that the public has faith in their elected representatives, so we need to let the legal process play out and see what happens there."
– S.C. Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey, R-Edgefield
No one is ‘shocked’
“I hate that it's come to this. It's a sad day in politics when we keep having this happen. I'm not as surprised with this as I was when Sen. (John) Courson was indicted. That was a real shock for me. ... With all the rumors and everything that's happened, I was not shocked that this happened. I don't think anyone's ... going to say they were shocked."
– State Sen. Katrina Shealy, R-Lexington
‘Suspended him from the South Carolina House’
“I have received criminal indictments against Rep. Rick Quinn ... and have suspended him from the South Carolina House of Representatives effective immediately. This suspension ... will remain in place until the matter is resolved or the seat is declared vacant.”
– S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington
‘House GOP Caucus has fully cooperated’
"The House GOP Caucus has fully cooperated with investigators, and Speaker Lucas has taken appropriate action."
— S.C. House Majority Leader Rep. Gary Simrill, R-York
‘Innocent until proven guilty’
“The (Lexington) County Republican Party is concerned over these new indictments. ... This is sad and disappointing news, but like all indictments, you remain innocent until proven guilty.”
– Lexington County GOP chairman Craig Caldwell
‘Charges are unproven’
“I respect the process and I look forward to seeing it work. I don't think it would be appropriate for me to make a comment while the investigation is open and the charges are unproven."
– State Rep. Micah Caskey, R-Lexington, Quinn's desk mate in the House and a former prosecutor
Staff writer Cassie Cope contributed
McMaster mum on indictment
S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster – South Carolina’s top Republican – did not return a request for comment Tuesday after state Rep. Rick Quinn, R-Lexington, was indicted on misconduct-in-office charges.
Quinn is the son of McMaster’s longtime political consultant, Richard Quinn, who runs the Columbia-based political firm Richard Quinn & Associates.
McMaster publicly has said he has no reason to disassociate with Quinn and his firm. But recently, McMaster hired another political consultant to run his 2018 campaign for governor, signaling a break with the consultant who has helped him with each of his previous campaigns for public office.