Politics & Government

Term limits an issue in 5th District race

Tommy Pope signs a pledge to support a constitutional amendment to limit the terms of members of Congress.
Tommy Pope signs a pledge to support a constitutional amendment to limit the terms of members of Congress. Provided

Even before they have been elected to Congress, many of the candidates in South Carolina’s 5th District are promising not to stay there too long.

Four GOP candidates are pledging to term-limit themselves once they reach the U.S. House of Representatives in a June 20 special election. And they hope to limit the rest of Congress too.

Chad Connelly, the former chairman of the S.C. GOP, is pledging to serve no more than six terms, or 12 years, in the House. He says he would sponsor legislation to limit all House members to six terms, and senators to two terms, also 12 years.

“Washington is broken, and I want to do my part to try and fix it,” Connelly said, “As such, I will lead a fight for term limits in the U.S. Congress pledging to lead by example and serving no more than 12 years.”

Tommy Pope, speaker pro tempore of the S.C. House, has signed a pledge to support amending the Constitution to limit legislators to no more than three terms in the House and two in the Senate. Pope currently is in his fourth, two-year term in the S.C. House.

“Term limits are a long overdue step towards reviving the uniquely American tradition of a citizen legislature,” Pope said. “Members of Congress should be focused on serving the people, not their own political careers.”

Tom Mullikin, a Camden attorney and commander of the S.C. State Guard, also has promised to introduce a term- limits bill immediately. However, Mullikin hasn’t said the number of terms at which he would set the limit.

“As your congressman, I will update you regularly on the status of my term-limits bill,” Mullikin said. “You will know the names of those who oppose it and even those who fail to be supportive.”

A spokesperson for former state Rep. Ralph Norman says he’s also signed the term limits pledge.

The other two Republican candidates in the field – Sheri Few and Kris Wampler – have not made an explicit pledge to limit their time in Washington.

No Democrat has announced plans to for the seat, which fell vacant when U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-Indian Land, was confirmed as President Donald Trump’s budget director.