S. Carolina lawmaker is making bid for Congress

File/Staff
Shane Massey: State senator says he is running for Congress because he thinks "the stakes are too high to sit on the sidelines."

AIKEN --- State Sen. Shane Massey announced Thursday his intent to run for the U.S. House seat being vacated next year by Gresham Barrett, who plans to run for governor.

Mr. Massey, a Republican who represents the 25th District, including Aiken, Edgefield, McCormick, and Saluda counties, said the nation's economic crisis compels him to run for Congress.

"I kind of feel like that's what it is -- a calling," he said. "With everything going on with all the bailouts and all the talk of stimulus money, I just think the stakes are too high to sit on the sidelines."

Mr. Massey said he's appreciated the work Mr. Barrett has done in Congress representing South Carolina's 3rd Congressional District, and "if I could follow him I think that would be a great honor for me."

He said he's sending out letters to 3,500 people in his senate district "just to let them know I am running and why I'm running."

The why, he said, also is based on his belief that "a lot of these big decisions (in Congress) are being made by people who have lost some good judgment or small town common sense, and I want to bring some of that back."

Mr. Massey said he declared his intentions to run now because he wants to get the word out and get an early start on fundraising .

However, he said, he won't be alone.

"There are going to be many candidates in this race before it's over with, most of them from the Upstate," he said. "They've already begun working hard."

Reach Preston Sparks at (803) 648-1395, ext. 110 or preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com