Originally created 09/22/05

State senator to run as 'warrior'



AIKEN - State Sen. Greg Ryberg, R-Aiken, said Wednesday that he will enter the June primary for state treasurer.

He said he plans to make a formal announcement about his candidacy next week.

"I think the taxpayers need a warrior as their chief financial officer. I think my business record really stands on its own," said Mr. Ryberg, the chief executive officer of REI Inc., a real estate holding company.

Two other Republicans - Rick Quinn, 40, a former House majority leader, and Jeff Willis, 36, an Easley developer - also plan to run for the office.

If Mr. Ryberg, 58, wins the GOP nomination, then the race could be a rematch of the 2002 election.

Democratic State Treasurer Grady Patterson, 81, will seek his ninth term in office. So far, no one has challenged him in the primary.

Mr. Ryberg, a 13-year veteran of the state Senate, said the race will be about the financial future of South Carolina and about "bringing leadership" to the treasurer's office.

He said his qualifications will become clear in the next nine months. He said the primary will highlight clear differences between him and his opponents.

"This is something I think that I can do that is consistent with my training, my background," he said.

Mr. Ryberg said property taxes and the control of government spending will be the primary issues of the campaign. He also said spending limits should be tied to population and cost of living increases.

"I don't think the taxpayers sent people to Columbia to fritter away their money," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Reach Betsy Gilliland at (803) 648-1395, ext. 113, or betsy.gilliland@augustachronicle.com.