Rep. Kirkman Finlay is being challenged in the Nov. 8 election by Tyler Gregg for the House District 75 seat in Richland County. The State’s editorial board sent questionnaires to both candidates. Mr. Finlay’s responses are below.
Year of birth: 1970
Political party: Republican
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Please limit your response to each of the following questions to about 100 words.
1. What makes you the most qualified person to hold this position? (Be specific.)
I have always been interested in government and public policy. As a child, I listened to my father’s experiences on City Council and as Mayor of Columbia.
I have lived in Columbia my entire life, and my wife and I have chosen to raise our daughters here. I have served on Columbia City Council, so I have an understanding of municipalities and their finances. In the House, I have served on Legislative Oversight, Judiciary and Agriculture Committees. This service, combined with my experience in the private sector, gives me an insight into helping my constituents.
2. What will be your top three priorities if you are elected? (100 words for each issue)
My top three priorities are:
1) Additional ethics legislation that clearly outlines conflicts of interest for elected officials, their family members, including children and parents. Source and type reporting of income is very important.
2) Fix our state’s roads and infrastructure. South Carolina’s roads need a defined revenue source, a user fee or tax, to help diffuse years of deferred maintenance. Everyone has an interest, but heavy users need to bear the burden.
3) Improve service delivery and accountability to South Carolina citizens. Norman Arnold had a great saying, “Expect and inspect.” South Carolina needs a budget process that clearly defines what the Legislature “expects” and a robust Legislative oversight process that inspects the results.
3b. For incumbents: What do you consider your most significant accomplishments in this office?
My most significant accomplishment is the legislation that became the basis for the ethics bill that passed this year. This was a team effort lead by the Speaker and the League of Women Voters, who did much more than me.
4. Describe at least one significant political position you hold that demonstrates your willingness to work across party lines even if that’s at odds with your political base.
My support of funding to repair our state’s roads and bridges. Some in the Republican base did not want an increase in the state’s gas tax. However, I believe this was the most fair and effective way to dedicate funds to pay for South Carolina’s deferred maintenance.
5. Have you ever been convicted of a crime, been disciplined by a professional licensing board or organization or had an ethics complaint filed against you? If so, please give the details.
6. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy or been delinquent on your federal, state or local taxes? If so, please give the details.
7. Are there any personal details about you that voters would be interested in knowing?
I am an avid outdoorsman and hunter. I enjoy spending time with my wife, children and family.
Number of years living in the district you seek to represent: 40+
Family (name of spouse, number and ages of children if at home, number of grown children):
Kathleen Ravenel Finlay
Kay Finlay (16)
Mary Fleming Finlay (14)
Hattie Finlay (13)
Education: Bachelors of Arts, University of Virginia 1992
Current occupation/employer: Farmer, Restaurant Owner
Employment, military and volunteer history:
Please list all public offices to which you’ve been elected, when and where: Columbia City Council, SC House of Representatives.
Please list year and office of any unsuccessful runs for public office: Mayor of Columbia