The folks at EdgefieldDaily.com have posted a very good piece on State Senator Shane Massey’s withdrawal from the race for the Third Congressional seat. It’s re-posted here.
EDGEFIELD – South Carolina State Sen. Shane Massey (R-Edgefield) said he is officially dropping out of the race for the 3rd US Congressional race. “I’ve put a lot of thought into it and prayed about it,” Massey said, “and decided that now is not the time.” Sen. Massey said he would have an official announcement available later on Wednesday.
Sen. Massey said there were several factors that played into his decision to withdraw from the race. “I guess one is I take this job (as State Senator) too seriously.” Sen. Massey said he weighed the time he would have to spend away from the State Senate during the volatile budget debate and other issues that will be in the state legislature next year.
“I felt like this area needed a voice in the budget process this year and the redistricting that will be taking place next year,” Sen. Massey said. By continuing his bid for the US Congressional seat he would have to be away from the Senate for important votes and debates.
One of the most important issues was the prospect that a portion of Aiken County could be removed from the US 3rd Congressional District. That is a matter that will be decided by the state legislature after the 2010 Census. Sen. Massey said if that takes place the Congressional district elections would be determined by the northern counties leaving Edgefield, Saluda, and McCormick Counties without a voice.
“Basically, we wouldn’t matter,” Massey said. “They (candidates) wouldn’t need us to win (the district).”
In spite of rave reviews in appearances in area debates and forums in the early campaign, Sen. Massey said as he continued to pray on the matter with his family and in spite of the broad support. “The good Lord was telling me otherwise.” Massey said he considered the lifestyle his wife Blair and their young daughter could face in Washington if elected.
The implications of a Massey win for the US Congress would have local implications as well. Massey won the State Senate seat as a Republican, which has been held by Democrats since Reconstruction. There are no guarantees that the Republicans could retain the seat in another special election such as the one Massey narrowly defeated State House Representative Bill Clyburn for by just 138 votes in 2007.
Massey said he felt a commitment to those who elected him to the State Senate and believes he should finish his work there before moving on to bigger things.
Though he would not endorse any of his fellow Republican challengers for the seat, he did confirm he is leaning toward one candidate and has been in contact with other candidates still remaining in the race.