We advocate for more freedom, smaller government, lower taxes and defending our Constitutional rights, including religious liberty and our 2nd Amendment Right to Bear Arms. Monthly meetings are usually the 3rd Thursday of each month at 7 pm. Get involved and make a difference in your county, state, and country!
Sheriff Ricky Chastain, Incumbent. Republican Candidate for Sheriff
H.S. Diploma: 1986 from Faith Christian School
Basic Law Enforcement 1991 from SC Criminal Justice Academy
Basic Jail 1998 SC Criminal Justice Academy
Newly Elected Sheriff’s School 2000, SC Criminal Justice Academy
National Sheriff’s School, 2001, National Sheriff’s Institute
Chief Executive Leadership, 2013, Southern Police Institute
Professional Background: Sheriff Chastain began working at the Sheriff’s Office at age 21. He has served 4 terms as Sheriff, and is currently seeking his 5th term. He has also served as a detention officer, training coordinator, reserve deputy coordinator, uniform patrol deputy, accreditation manager, field training officer coordinator, DARE/SRO coordinator, property/inventory control officer, bloodhound tracking team.
Instructor Certifications Earned:
Basic Instructor, PR-24 Instructor, Active Shooter Instructor, Firearms Instructor, OCAT Instructor, Spontaneous Knife Defense, Driving Instructor, Glock Armorer, Defensive Tactics Instructor.
Basic Instructor Development, Jail Management School, Defensive Tactics Instructor, Glock Armorer/Instructor School, Emergency Vehicle Operations, Workplace Violence, Basic School Resource Officer, FTO Management School, Driving Instructor School, Job Task Analysis Development, School Violence Prevention, Rape Crisis, Mid-Level Management, Firearms Instructor School, Survival Spanish for LE, Background Investigations, Leadership Issues, Hate Crimes.
Other Accomplishments: (Highlights—see website for more.)
S.O.R.T.- formed the first special operations response team for Laurens County.
1st agency in SC to implement body worn cameras.
Formed the Laurens County Meth-Lab Investigation Team, with 5 deputies currently holding this certification.
Developed and organized the Laurens County Christmas for Kids program where over 6,000 children and their families were helped by providing food, clothing, and toys.
Created the Laurens County Chaplaincy Program for staff and citizens.
Partnered with Laurens County Higher Ed Center to become one of three detention facilities in the state to be an accredited GED Mobile testing site.
Formed a partnership with Gateway Community Counseling to reduce underage alcohol and tobacco sales.
Equipped patrol cars with in-car cameras.
Other Community Involvement:
Laurens District 55 High School Improvement Council
Laurens County Shrine Club, Board of Directors
Rossie Walker Masonic Lodge 354, Laurens
Joanna Lions Club
Safe Home, Board of Directors
National Sheriff’s Association
Laurens County American Red Cross Board Member
Boy Scouts Nominating Committee Member
VISTA- Volunteers in Service to America
Laurens Exchange Club- 2005 to present
Laurens County Fraternal Order of Police—Lodge #29 member 2005-present
Laurens County Crime Stoppers—Founding Organizer and Ex Officio Member- 2009 to present
Laurens County Literacy Council Board Member: 2013-present
Laurens County Disabilities and Special Needs Board- Human Rights Committee: 2015 to present.
See website for more.
Personal Background: Life-long resident of Laurens County. Age 47. Married to Kelley, a teacher at LDHS. They have two daughters, Shelby, a grad student at USC and Tori, a student at Lander University and one son, Ricky Jr., who attends Sanders Middle School. They are members of Faith Baptist Church in Laurens.
In 2012, Chastain had an affair with an employee at the Sheriff’s department, which resulted in two pregnancies. During the first pregnancy, Chastain drove the woman to an abortion clinic in NC in his patrol car. During the 2nd pregnancy, the woman did not want another abortion and claims Chastain pressured her to quit her job and got other supervisors to harass her as well. She subsequently quit, did have another abortion, and then filed a lawsuit against Chastain and 4 other employees at the Sheriff’s department, which was settled for $35,000. Chastain admitted to the affair, but denied any harassment by himself or any employees of the Sheriff’s department.
In 2016, a sexting scandal erupted:
“Ricky Chastain’s name hangs over thousands of gray message bubbles in PDF files that appear to show text messages, many of them explicit, exchanged between the Laurens County sheriff and a woman who is not his wife,” the paper reported this week. “The 444 pages of text messages, which contained nude photos of the woman, did not indicate Chastain had a physical relationship with the woman, who the Index-Journal is not yet naming, and the woman denied having sex with Chastain. Time stamps indicated hundreds of the messages were sent on weekdays during normal business hours.”
Chastain has declined to comment on the sexting allegations. http://www.fitsnews.com/2016/04/29/local-msm-picks-up-sexting-sheriff-scandal/
Don Reynolds – Republican Party Primary Candidate for Sheriff in Laurens County SC.
This is the second time that Don Reynolds has run for sheriff of Laurens County. This time he is the only challenger to the current incumbent. He is not career politician and favors short to the point answers. He stresses the need to be responsive to complaints and calls to the LCSO. Key to his campaign are trust and accountability. Laurens County Tea Party endorsed Don last time around. LCTP did not make any endorsements this time, but instead held a Straw Poll after our Candidate Forum, which Don won.
Don Reynolds retired with 30 years of service with the SC Highway Patrol. Ten of those years as Laurens County Supervisor and 9 of those years in Insurance enforcement. 3 years (currently) with Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office as court security.
On the issues
Laurens County Sheriff’s Office
Don Reynolds indicated that the LCSO could benefit from an increased level of trust from the public at large. Reynolds also indicated a desire to increase the existing transparency level coming from the LCSO. He also expressed a desire to have more deputies, but fully acknowledged the funding challenges associated with having additional staff.
When asked as Sheriff if he would enforce a Federal mandate to confiscate our guns, the answer was a decisive NO.
Laurens County has a clear and visible drug problem. As Sheriff, Don is committed to working with law enforcement from bordering counties to help address the underlying issues rather than just spreading the problem around.
Gangs are growing problem in Laurens County at the moment. Counties around us have experienced growing problems in this area as well. As a Sheriff’s office, we need to partner with the community at large to do a better job at engaging our young people who are most prone to being involved in a gang.
Laurens County Candidate Forum:
Bobby Smith speaks on behalf of Don Reynolds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MNTNEtrMh0
Don Reynolds speaks at our Candidate Forum in 2012: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8tadv2kJiI
Sheriff Ricky Chastain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTXIsxt5bbk
Running as a Republican for auditor of Laurens County
Mr. Coleman has worked at the United Insurance in Laurens for 40 years. He is now retired.
He served as a Democrat on Laurens County Council for 24 years, the last 8 as Chairman. He also served for a time as Chairman of the Upper Savannah Council of Government and the South Carolina Association of Counties.
Mr. Coleman is married to his wife Nancy, who is the Director of Guidance at Laurens District 55 High School. They have one son, Jon, who is the Executive
Director of the Laurens County Development Corporation (LCDC).
See below for links to the Candidate Forum, which Mr. Coleman participated in.
David Tribble, Republican Candidate for Auditor
The Auditor values all personal property, which includes cars, trucks, campers, and industrial manufacturing equipment. The Auditor also deals with the complex Fee In Lieu of Taxes (FILO) agreements with new and existing industries in Laurens County. (The Assessor is the one who determines the taxes on houses and land—not the Auditor.)
Mr. Tribble has an impressive resume and brings a broad range of experience to this position.
- Served on Clinton City Council 1979-1981.
- Mayor of Clinton for 6 years, from 1981-1986. During his tenure, five new industries built plants in Laurens County. He also turned around the annual deficit and reduced staff and costs within the City of Clinton.
- Served on Laurens County Council 2004-2010.
- SC House of Representatives 2010-2012.
Other Community Involvement:
- YMCA Board Chair: He was chair of the Y’s successful capital campaign, which raised $1.5 million. He also led a membership campaign, which resulted in over 500 new members last year. He has participated in every fundraising event for the YMCA for past the 30 years.
- Advisory Board Chair of the Christ Central Ministries
- Chair of the Printing Industry of the Carolinas Board
- Hospital Board Member. Was appointed to the board by the Governor in the 1990’s when the two hospitals in the county were merging into one. Tribble made the hard decision of firing the Executive Director, which was unanimously approved by the rest of the board without discussion.
- Chair of Upper Savannah Council of Governments
- Attending the SC Economic Developers School
- Palmetto Bank Advisory Board
- Vice-Chair of Clinton Newberry Natural Gas Authority
- Presbyterian College President’s Scholar
- PTC Foundation Board
- Called Sterlite and asked for a $100,000 donation, and they sent $125,000.
- Married to Dr. Leta Tribble and the father of four.
Graduate of Presbyterian College; named PC’s Outstanding Young Alumni in 1991
- Master’s Degree of Public Administration from Clemson, 2010.
- Has served as an Elder and Sunday School teacher at First Presbyterian Church in Clinton.
Small business owner and background: Mr. Tribble is retired from the printing industry. He has been a stock holder in the DE Tribble Company, a building supplies business that was founded by his namesake, DE Tribble. Mr. Tribble further explains his business experience in the private sector:
“I have been the managing partner of a real estate partnership. I was the majority stockholder in a medium sized printing business. I was Vice President of commercial printing sales of a larger printing business. I continued my career in the printing industry as the representative of, a large German engineering company managing Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, selling multi-million dollar printing presses and finishing equipment. In 1991 I served as the youngest Chair in the history of the Printing Industry of the Carolinas Association, the trade association of the printing industry of North and South Carolina. I was named a lifetime trustee of the Printing Industry of the Carolinas Foundation, created to raise money for the support of printing education primarily at Appalachian State and Clemson.
After leaving the printing industry, I was Vice President of sales for a regional company specializing in equipping a servicing Ambulatory Surgery Centers. I had a stock option to buy 20% of that business as part of my compensation.
I am currently employed at Matt Davis State Farm. Matt tolerated my studies when I was finishing my MPA (the professional degree of a city manager or county administrator) from 2008-2010 and my legislative schedule from 2010-2012. At State Farm, I specialize in the health insurance products; selling Humana Medicare Advantage Plans and prescription drug plans, State Farm Medicare Supplements and Blue Cross Blue Shield individual medical plans. State Farm has bank products including car loans, mortgages, deposit products, mutual funds, retirement plans in addition to its market leading property and casualty lines. While I am in my 8th year with State Farm, the position of County Auditor would be a full time job. “
David Tribble has a distinguished career of public service and brings a lot of experience to the table. He has demonstrated fiscally conservative principles and an ability to make hard decisions. He has made Laurens County a better place to live through his hard work and commitment. In addition, Mr. Tribble won our Laurens County Candidate Forum Straw Poll. He would make a great auditor.
Laurens County Candidate Forum:
Candidates Jim Coleman and David Tribble: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3k8M_XX4h8
David Tribble Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7WvGCi88g8
Both candidates participated in our Laurens County Candidate Forum (links below). Mark Cathcart won the Straw Poll by one vote over Tommy Mann in a vote by Laurens County Tea Party members. However, Mr. Mann won the Straw Poll vote taken by non-members.
Mark Cathcart (R) SC House District 42 (composed of Union County and parts of Laurens County)
Biography: Mark is a native of Union County growing up on a farm in Buffalo. Graduating from Union HS, he went on to obtain a BS degree in Animal Science at Clemson University. He now owns and operates his own cattle farm, helps run a family auction business and works in pest control. He and his wife Celeste have 3 daughters. He is a member of New Life Worship Center and says that if elected, he will work “to bring Christian values to political decisions” in the state legislature. “You can expect I would not leave my Christian values on the steps of the statehouse before I go in.”
This is Cathcart’s second bid for public office. In 2014, Cathcart was a candidate for the GOP nomination for the seat, facing off in the primary with David Tribble Jr., a former state legislator from Laurens County. Even though it was his first political race, Cathcart did well in the primary, garnering 47 percent of the vote and carrying the Union County portion of the district, but losing the Laurens County portion and the nomination to Tribble. Concerned about the future for his daughters, Mark has decided to run again.
Issues: Mark believes generally in the following:
More government=Less Freedom
More Laws=Less Liberty
More Taxes=Less Money
Below are a list of some of the issues and Mark’s position on these issues taken from his website http://www.markcathcartforhouse.com and an article in The Union Time http://uniondailytimes.com/news/4020/cathcart-seeking-district-42-seat
Free Markets, Lower Taxes and Less Government Regulations:
The strain of government laws, taxes, and regulations needs to be reduced on those who are sustaining our economy and stop propping up failing companies and philosophies artificially. As your representative, I will work to reduce government, taxes, and excessive regulations. Cathcart said he also wants to address the infrastructure needs of Union County and the rest of South Carolina, but without raising taxes. He said he also wants to address the issue of taxation and regulation of business and how they stifle business growth and job creation.
Our 2nd Amendment right is being attacked on a daily basis. Without the ability to
defend and protect yourself and your family, even from a tyrannical government, all the
other rights are merely words on a paper. “…The right of the people to keep and bear
arms shall NOT be infringed.” As your representative, I will work to protect your right to keep and bear arms.
Pro-Life: Life begins at conception and should be protected. If a woman’s life is in danger, the decision should be between herself and her doctor. As part of his pro-life beliefs, Cathcart said he wants to address the issue of state funding for abortion clinics, especially those operated by Planned Parenthood. “These should be defunded”.
Marriage is defined by God as between one man and one woman.
Parents should decide which educational options are best for their child.
I believe in Constitutional Government—that is, nothing that our local government does should conflict with the rights guaranteed by the Constitution—such as freedom of speech, religion, the right to bear arms, the right against unreasonable search and seizure, private property rights, etc. I will vote against any law which would infringe upon our God-given Constitutional rights.
Gas Tax Hike:
SC already HAS a gas tax! I am opposed to an increase. The money is there to fix our roads, and the unaccountable SCDOT needs to be audited so we can understand exactly where our money is going. As your state representative, I will oppose any tax increases, support auditing the SCDOT, and work to fix our roads with the tax dollars already available.
The proper role of our government is to protect the citizens of our state and look to their welfare first. While the plight of many around the world, refugees and otherwise, is heartbreaking, we must recognize that it is the job of individual Christians, Churches, private charities, and others to help those in need. It is not the role of our state legislature to use taxpayer dollars to resettle refugees into our state. Furthermore, our own FBI director has stated that there is no way to properly vet refugees from certain countries, including Syria, so we have no idea if we are bringing in terrorists or not, who HAVE STATED that they plan to infiltrate the U.S. through the Refugee Resettlement Program. In addition, we can see the strain on our schools and other social services placed by refugees by looking around the country. As your State Representative, I will do everything in my power to prevent this from happening in SC, and I will exercise due diligence in putting the security of our citizens first. He opposes amnesty.
Bathroom Issue: Mark believes we need to stand up for what is right, use the Bible for direction, and oppose any changes to the use of bathrooms.
Mark Cathcart speaks at the Laurens County Candidate Forum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZRkvCMsXAk
Candidate for SC House District 42: Tommy Mann
Tommy Mann, a Republican running for SC House District 42 seat, is a native of Orlando, Florida, who moved to Union in 2008 to begin an eight-year tenure as Associate Pastor at Philippi Baptist Church. He resigned as Associate Pastor to run for the nomination for the House seat.
Mann, a graduate of Arlington Baptist College in Fort Worth, TX, is also a published author whose latest book is “Asleep in Heaven’s Nursery for Kids.” He and his wife have two children.
In addition to his service as Associate Pastor at Philippi Baptist, Mann has served on Union County’s Assessment Appeals Board and as Chairman of Union County’s Comprehensive Health Committee. Most recently, he served as Vice Moderator and then Moderator of the Union County Baptist Association.
Policies Mann would seek to enact if elected to S.C. House of Representatives include:
- Introduction of the “Life Begins at Conception Act” which would guarantee “the full rights of personhood to the unborn, including their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Mann also calls for defunding Planned Parenthood and vows to “never cast a vote to approve any budget that gives them one penny of your tax dollars.”
- Support the “Pastor Protection Act” and the “First Amendment Defense Act.”
Mann states that “I want to promise pastors that they can still choose for themselves whom they will marry, and churches can decide for themselves their building reservation policy. But I want to go further than that. I want to promise the business owners that they can continue the free exercise of their religion, not as a matter of hatred, but as a matter of religious conviction.”
- Support the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights.
Mann states that “every law-abiding citizen has the right to defend himself in the face of those citizens who choose not to obey the law. I strongly support law enforcement, as I come from a long line of Florida’s finest, but I also realize that sometimes every second counts. Citizens should have the right to own weapons in their home, and as a person with my own concealed weapons permit, I believe citizens should have the right to feel safe when they leave home.”
- Keep taxes low, block waste, and “bring my fiscal conservatism to the table when voting for any budget.”
Mann states that “while taxes are necessary, I believe they should be kept low and spent wisely. Most people have no problem paying taxes when they understand that their dollars are used to pay for police officers, fire fighters, teachers, schools, honest civil servants, safe roads, underprivileged children, disabled citizens, and other important necessities. However, most people also cringe at the level of wasteful spending in both Columbia and Washington D.C.”
- Support for Abstinence Education.
Mann states that “I can’t help but laugh when people say abstinence doesn’t work. In fact, abstinence is the only thing that works. With the exception of our Lord’s mother Mary, no abstinent person has ever conceived a child, and their only risk of contracting an STD is non-sexually (thus making the S kind of a moot letter).”
This has been an issue that Mann stated he has dealt with before at the local level.
“There was a movement in Union County to introduce contraception to our students, but as Chairman of the Comprehensive Health Committee, I helped successfully defeat the attempt. Instead we introduced a curriculum called Choosing the Best, which has been quite effective. The year we introduced the new material, Union County led the state per capita in pregnancies among 10-12 year old students. The next year, we led the state in percent of decrease in the same category, and the rates have continually declined. If minors are to receive contraception, that should be a decision left up to parents, not to a State that thinks it is a better parent.”
For more information about Mann, his policies and campaign go to his website is www.voteformann.com.
Source: The Union Daily Times, Dec. 30, 2015 and Jan. 23, 2016
Tommy Mann speaks at our Laurens County Candidate Forum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MKsgN_owsE
Next Laurens County Tea Party Meeting: Guest Speaker: Sheri Few. Topic: US Parents Involved in Education (USPIE) Stop Fed Ed Campaign. Sheri Few is the Founder and has served as President of South Carolina Parents Involved in Education (SCPIE) since June 2000. Sheri led the fight against Common Core in South Carolina (SC), which was the catalyst to her candidacy for SC Superintendent of Education where she narrowly missed the runoff. In an effort to unite likeminded parents from around the country, Sheri founded US Parents Involved in Education in 2014. For her expertise in education policy, Sheri is a sought after speaker for national and local conferences and radio talk shows.
Location and date: Thursday June 16th at 7pm at the Laurens County Higher Ed Learning Center, 663 Medical Ridge Rd., Clinton, Room 411.
All are welcome to attend!
Laurens County Tea Party recently hosted a luncheon for all elected officials and community leaders in Laurens County. The well-attended luncheon featured four speakers: Senator Danny Verdin; James Simpson, an author and expert on Refugee Resettlement; Lauren Martel, an attorney who has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Haley, DSS, and two private groups, in order to stop Refugee Resettlement in SC; and the plaintiff in the case, Brian Bilbro. Here is the link to watch the event:
Here’s the video link to the awesome Rally we had in Laurens on Sat. Oct. 10th. Speakers include Michael Post, Pastor of Lucas Avenue Baptist Church, Adam Powers, Pastor of Bellview Baptist, Mike Gonzalez, Pastor of Columbia World Outreach, State Senator Danny Verdin, Laurens County Councilman Stewart Jones, and Rafael Cruz, Pastor and father to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.
With Refugees currently being placed into Spartanburg County, SC, I am creating a database of pertinent links dealing with this issue.
Bill to prohibit state funds for refugees in SC: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess121_2015-2016/bills/4488.htm
Facebook groups: https://www.facebook.com/RefugeeInfoResource/?fref=ts
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