Gunn Announces Reelection Campaign for SC House of Representatives
Press Release Anton Gunn, 803-361-4597
March 1, 2010
Gunn Announces Reelection Campaign for SC House of Representatives
Independent leader to run for second term for District 79 House Seat with strong support from educators, business leaders and the grassroots
Columbia, SC-State Representative Anton Gunn (D-Richland/Kershaw) has announced that he will seek reelection to the District 79 House seat to which he was first elected in 2008. In what was only his second campaign for public office, Gunn, an experienced community leader, won a hotly contested race to replace seven-term incumbent, Bill Cotty, who retired from the seat in 2008.
Gunn, a natural leader and seasoned professional had an particularly successful first session in the legislature earning a record as one of the most consistent and independent lawmakers in the South Carolina House. He is a proud member of the South Carolina New Statesman Society, a bi-partisan organization focused on bringing leadership and ethics back into South Carolina’s politics. Gunn was also selected as a member of the 2011 Liberty Fellowship Class, a leadership program which focuses on helping more values-based leaders become significant contributors to the state of South Carolina, and to society at-large.
In his first year of legislative service, Gunn was recognized as one of the most active legislators in the state, sponsoring or co-sponsoring more than 100 bills in his first year. His leadership as an independent voice earned him a 75% pro-business voting record by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and a 90% voting record by the South Carolina Education Association. He also earned the highest voting record rating of any Democrat by fiscally conservative group, Club for Growth, at the same time was named the 2009 recipient of the “Community Educational Maverick of the Year” award by the Greenville HBCU Classic, Inc. Gunn was also recognized for his leadership in promoting legislation to help small businesses by the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce.
“During my campaign for the South Carolina House I promised the people of Richland and Kershaw counties that I would be a strong voice in the legislature for citizens and small businesses and that I would work to bring people together to improve our state. I am proud that some of the most well respected organizations and leaders on both ends of the political spectrum have taken notice that I did indeed keep that promise,” said Gunn. Representative Gunn stated he was especially proud of his record of fiscal responsibility, transparency and government reform in the interests of taxpayers.
During his first term in the legislature, Representative Gunn has developed a strong reputation of bringing openness and transparency to his legislative office. Gunn has worked tirelessly to keep his constituents informed about what’s happening in state government by hosting three “Legislative Issues Forums” each quarter of the year throughout District 79. Also using his constituency outreach website, RepresentativeGunn.com, Facebook and Twitter, Gunn provides the public with specific details about important policy developments. His bi-monthly blog posts have focused on unemployment, job creation, judicial reform, public education and government reform. Gunn believes these tools allow him to connect to constituents and provide them with immediate and direct feedback on the issues.
In endorsing Representative Gunn for reelection, Democratic House Minority Leader Harry Ott said; “Anton has been one of the strongest and most independent voices for the people in Columbia and he has brought an energy and focus to bear on the key issues of fiscal responsibly, rebuilding South Carolina’s economy, and improving education. I have counted on Anton time and again to bring his common-sense real world experience to the State House. I am proud to call Anton a friend and a true leader for taxpayers across our state. I strongly recommend him for reelection.”
Gunn has received similar praise from Republican leaders like Governor Mark Sanford. Sanford first acknowledged Gunn as a reformer in his 2010 State of the State address. Governor Sanford applauded and singled out Rep. Gunn among a very small group of legislators “specifically for their leadership and repeated efforts to bring about reform, – and [their] commitment to restructuring”. Gunn, who is a strong proponent of restructuring of our state’s outdated constitution said, “I was very surprised about the recognition I received from Governor Sanford, but I am glad to see that Republicans and Democrats can work together to pass common-sense reforms that will help our state move forward’.
As the only Master-Degreed social worker in the Legislature, Gunn has made health care services and health policy issues one of his top priorities during his first legislative session. Representative Gunn was named by South Carolina Speaker of the House, Bobby Harrell, as a member of the Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs (3M) Committee which has jurisdiction over matters pertaining to Medical Affairs, Social Security, Penitentiary, State Hospital, Health Regulations, Police Regulations, Children’s Affairs, Military Affairs, & Veterans issues in South Carolina.
Because of his work in the 3M Committee on health care-related issues and his support of solving the problems in our broken health care system across South Carolina, Gunn is quickly earning a reputation as a leader that “get’s it” when dealing with complex health care policy. Rep. Gunn was also the chief sponsor of legislation that creates a joint electronic health information study committee to examine the feasibility of increasing the use of health information technology and electronic personal health records within the state of South Carolina.
“I am so proud that I was able to generate bi-partisan support from my colleagues to help South Carolina get prepared for the use of health information technology to improve our state’s health outcomes and potentially saving thousands of tax dollars by studying the use of this technology,” Gunn added.
Gunn is a former University of South Carolina Gamecock offensive lineman who earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History and a Masters in Social Work from the University. He worked for 11 years in South Carolina’s nonprofit sector eventually becoming the Executive Director of South Carolina Fair Share where he was responsible for managing the statewide, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization. He ended his service with South Carolina Fair Share in 2008. After leaving the nonprofit sector, Representative Gunn used his expertise in leadership development and training and formed his own leadership consulting company. He is the president and CEO of Top Gunn Associates, LLC, which offers training, consulting and motivational speaking services to businesses, corporations and nonprofit groups.
His thirteen years of professional experience has garnered him recognition as one of the top under-forty community leaders in America in 2006. His list of honors and achievements include Class of 2011 Liberty Fellowship, 2008 Community Change Champion Award, Center for Community Change; Consumer Health Advocate of the Year, Families USA, 2007; Southern Rural Development Initiative, 2006 Top Ten in the South Honoree; Alumni of the Year, University of South Carolina College of Social Work, 2006; 2001 Faculty Award, University of South Carolina College of Social Work; 2001 Student of the Year, and 2000 Emerging Leader, National Congress for Community Economic Development.
Representative Gunn and his wife Tiffany have been married for 10 years. They have one daughter, Ashley. The Gunn’s attend the Bible Way Church of Atlas Road in Columbia, SC.