Politics & Government

Pope snags endorsements from SC House speaker, ag commissioner in Congress race

S.C. GOP congressional candidate Tommy Pope is racking up endorsements two weeks out from the 5th District primaries.

Pope announced an endorsement Tuesday from S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, in his race to succeed Republican Mick Mulvaney as the 5th District congressman. The day before, Pope received the endorsement of Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers, R-Orangeburg.

Lucas and Pope work together closely in the S.C. House, where the York County Republican is speaker pro tempore, the House’s No. 2-ranking officer, serving under Lucas.

“Tommy Pope is a proven conservative and the right choice for Congress,” Lucas said in a statement. “His pro-business and fiscally responsible record in the South Carolina House of Representatives is what Washington needs to practice to put America back on the right track.”

A Hartsville resident, Lucas doesn’t live in the 5th District. But his S.C. House district includes portions of Kershaw and Lancaster counties, which are in the district.

On Monday, Pope was endorsed by Weathers, the statewide elected head of the state’s Agriculture Department. Weathers cited Pope’s work on farm issues in his endorsement.

“The farmers that I’ve talked to in the 5th District are supporting Tommy because they recognize what he did for them in Columbia,” said Weathers. “When the flood hit two years ago, we really needed help and it was not coming from anywhere else. But Tommy stood up and showed leadership on behalf of all farmers.”

Pope is one of seven Republicans in the May 2 GOP primary. The GOP nominee will face the Democratic candidate in a special election set for June 20.