SOUTH CAROLINA (WJBF) — Dr. Michael Addison announced he’s running for S.C. Senate District 40. The area comprises of Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton, and Orangeburg Counties.
“We have a very rich district, we’re just not utilizing our resources,” he told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk. “That was one of the things that pushed me into the race,” he added.
The 54-year-old enters the race vying for the seat held by incumbent Senator Brad Hutto for more than 20 years. Hutto faced no opposition for his seat in 2016 and 2012.
“It takes some new blood, some innovation, some disruptive innovation, some creativity and that’s what we bring to the table,” he shared.
The father of nine and granddad to four is bringing a diverse skill-set to the table, after serving in a number of roles including, a doctor within his private practice and at several local HBCU’s, an insurance adjuster, and an environmentalist working with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. “Several years ago, I lost my practice in Allendale to a tornado and the tornado didn’t do me as bad as I felt the insurance company did. So, I ended up becoming an insurance adjuster and establishing a firm working with people who have damage to their property,” he said.
His campaign is focused on a number of issues ranging from gun control measures to bring in more funding and industry. “District 40 is an agricultural community. We should be doing things in a district like working with all the farmers and bringing agribusiness to a premium in that area. But currently, it’s not happening,” the candidate said.
COVID-19 put a halt on nearly every part of life, including campaigning for Dr. Addison. He, in turn, capitalized on it providing a service to those who wanted to know their coronavirus status.
“Being in healthcare, I spoke with DHEC and I said we need to get testing in our communities because I was looking at the results and they were indicating that we had no positive tests coming back in our counties,” he recalled. “The first time we did it, we had over 400 cars lined up. We had to turn a hundred cars away,” he said.
A recent shooting in Orangeburg County, claiming the lives of three and injuring five, has him thinking about creating a gang task force. “I want to meet with all gangs because all these senseless shootings, I want to know why,” Dr. Addison said.
With several headlines of shooting deaths of unarmed African-American men happening within the United States, training could be the safest bet to curb the growing problem. “Guns don’t kill people, people do. We need training or conflict resolution, but we need it starting at kindergarten. K-5 schools need training on conflict resolution,” he stated.
One concern residents have is some lawmakers not being reachable when it matters the most. Dr. Addison has a plan to get you answers if he’s elected. “So we’re going to have what I call a social media policy that allows people to go onto our social media and we will follow them and follow up with them,” he shared.
Join Shawn on Facebook Live at 9:30 a.m. Saturday after Good Morning Augusta as he continues his conversation with Dr. Addison. They will discuss a number of topics including Denmark Tech, marijuana legislation, his first 100 days if elected, the local economy, and more.
Meanwhile, Dr. Addison and Hutto will face off on Tuesday, June 9. The winner of the race will be unopposed in November.
Polls open 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. the day of voting.
Absentee ballots also still available.