Ryberg in running for new post

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COLUMBIA - Gov. Mark Sanford on Wednesday signed into law a bill that puts the Department of Transportation under his Cabinet.

Sen. Greg Ryberg, R-Aiken, might get the new Transportation agency post.  Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Sen. Greg Ryberg, R-Aiken, might get the new Transportation agency post.

Now he'll need a secretary of transportation to run the agency.

And Sen. Greg Ryberg, R-Aiken, a Sanford ally, "certainly, certainly" is being considered for the post, the governor said.

Mr. Ryberg was the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee until earlier this year, when he took over as chairman of the Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee.

The Aiken senator, though, has another position in mind: treasurer.

Mr. Sanford suspended state Treasurer Thomas Ravenel last week after Mr. Ravenel was indicted on federal cocaine charges. The governor named Columbia attorney Ken Wingate as a short-term replacement.

If Mr. Ravenel resigns or is convicted, however, the General Assembly would choose a permanent successor.

Mr. Ryberg ran unsuccessfully for treasurer in 2002 and 2006.

"That burning desire has not changed," he said. "I'm not angling for anything. I think I am fully qualified to be state treasurer, and I would be honored if the General Assembly would elect me."

Privately, some lawmakers have said they would not support Mr. Ryberg, who often disagrees with fellow legislators and will openly rebuke them for their votes.

But, Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Bonneau, said: "He does have support."

A vote on a new state treasurer, though, likely is months away, unless Mr. Ravenel resigns.

Asked whether Mr. Ravenel should resign, Mr. Sanford paused, then said, "One is innocent until proven guilty in our system. I think we need to get a little further down the pike."

Mr. Ravenel's arraignment is scheduled for July 9. Mr. Sanford will likely name a new DOT chief before a treasurer is chosen.

Mr. Ryberg said he has had "none, zero, nada" conversations with the governor about being named head of DOT.

Accepting either job would force him to resign his Senate position, setting up a special election to fill the rest of his term, which expires next year. The special election would be held 18 weeks after the seat becomes vacant.

Reach Kirsten Singleton at (803) 414-6611 or kirsten.singleton@morris.com.

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wsm141 06/29/07 - 07:07 am
Ask yourself this question?

Ask yourself this question? Why would someone who has been an elected official for quite sometime now want to be in charge of all of the states money? Makes you say hmmm?

wsm141 06/29/07 - 07:14 am
Do you know that the State of

Do you know that the State of South Carolina Department of Revenue recently "upgraded" there reporting system and conveinently lost data concerning past tax payments! That's right! They lost the data then rebilled for missing payments due to lost data. The missing data was from many years ago! Of which most no longer have records to prove they made payments! I was hit with a duplicate bill with interest because of a data screw up while upgrading there system. Because I couldnt produce bank records from 10 years ago of which I am no longer a customer of I had to pay it again!

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