Julie Hershey invited about two dozen friends to meet Sen. Larry Grooms in Greenville, Monday. Grooms is exploring the possibility of seeking the Republican nomination for Governor of South Carolina in the 2010 primary election.
Hershey is Director of Heritage Community Services in the Upstate and met Sen. Grooms on the Senate floor when abstinence education funding was under attack by political opponents.
“This man stood on the Senate floor and fought for abstinence education. Here is a man who not only has the right thoughts and the right ideas, but he has the courage to act on his convictions,” Hershey said.
Sen. Grooms was introduced by Sen. Danny Verdin, who described Grooms as “my best friend in the Senate.” He said “I trust Larry Grooms implicitly and I can’t say that about many people. I have the utmost confidence in him.”
The 2009 Legislative Manual begins describing Sen. Grooms as Pres./CEO of GTI, graduate of Clemson University1987; married Carol Anderson, 3 children; Christian, Saved by Grace, April 1987.”
Sen. Grooms was elected to the Senate in November 1997 to represent District 37 that includes Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton and Dorchester Counties. He is chairman of the Transportation Committee and serves on the Agriculture and Natural Resources, Education, Finance, Fish, Game and Forestry; and Agriculture and Natural Resources Committees.
He is founder and operator of a Petroleum and Restaurant Holding Company that began with one convenience store that grew into multiple stores. He declined to sell alcoholic beverages and participate in the profitable video poker enterprise.
He is a member of the First Baptist Church of Stephen, SC, where he was ordained as Deacon in 1988. He is a life member, National Association of Texaco and Shell Marketers; Board of Visitors, Charleston Southern University; Board Member, United Methodist Relief Center; Life Member, National Rifle Association; Former Executive Committeeman, Berkley Co. Republican Party; Board Member, Southern Methodist College; Advisory Board Member, National Council of Bible Curriculum.
His awards include:
Significant Contribution Award, MADD; Legislative Achievement Award, Charleston More Than a Port; Legislative Appreciation Award, SC Agriculture Commission; Raising the Standard Award, Heritage Community Services; National Legislative Impact Award, National Abstinence Clearing house; Outstanding Senator Award, SC Department, American Legion; Legislator of the Year, SC Public Charter School Association; Friend of the Taxpayer Award by SC Association of Taxpayers; Palmetto Leadership Award, SC Policy Council; Legislative Champion Award, Palmetto Family Council; Taxpayer Champion Award, SC Club of Growth; and Legislative Leadership Award, Propeller Club of the Port of Charleston.
Senator Grooms is aware of the problems the Republican Party has created and must solve in order to remain viable and credible. He favors registration by party. His credentials are solid conservative and uncompromising on matters of morals and ethics.
He answered a number of tough questions but hesitated to endorse conventions as superior to primary elections. He also has reservations about election of judges in partisan elections, but would study the matter more closely.
Sen. Verdin predicted that Grooms will be spending a lot of time in the Upstate and especially in Greenville County in the next 18 months to get acquainted with voters.
Other potential candidates for Governor are Atty. General Henry McMaster, Rep. Gresham Barrett and Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer.