Politics & Government

SC lawmaker to challenge incumbent secretary of state

Rep. Joshua Putnam
Rep. Joshua Putnam Independent Mail

An Upstate S.C. lawmaker hopes to unseat an incumbent statewide elected official in his own party.

Joshua Putnam, R-Anderson, says he will run for secretary of state in the June 2018 GOP primary, after eight years in the S.C. House.

To get the job, Putnam, 28, will have to unseat Mark Hammond, R-Spartanburg, now in his fourth term.

Putnam said he “will bring a fresh set of eyes and a new business-friendly approach to a government office that has not changed hands in 16 years.”

The secretary of state manages business filings in South Carolina and charities.

In announcing his candidacy at the State House last week, Putnam said he wants to bring “more accessibility and transparency to the office of secretary of state, making it more efficient and user-friendly for South Carolina businesses in the 21st century.”

In the House, Putnam, a landscape supervisor in Piedmont, sponsored the Tucker Hipps Transparency Act, which requires colleges to report on their websites alcohol, drug, hazing, and sexual or physical assault violations by fraternities.

Cassie Cope contributed. Bristow Marchant: 803-771-8405, @BristowatHome, @BuzzAtThestate