Pop Quiz: Who represents Mount Pleasant and only Mount Pleasant in the South Carolina House of Representatives?
Answer: No one.
That’s right. There has never been an elected representative to our state government from Mount Pleasant who is solely focused on the needs of our rapidly expanding town—until now. Based on census data, a reapportionment has resulted in the creation of a single district, District 80, to serve Mount Pleasant. The question is, who will step up to stake a claim on such a new and untested electoral territory?
One candidate whose hat is already in the ring is Chris Staubes, an attorney, lifelong resident of the Lowcountry, married father of three and community-minded aspirant. The House-hopeful has already served the town and its residents in several capacities in unknowing preparation for his next step.
A graduate of Wofford College and the University of South Carolina School of Law, Staubes settled in Mount Pleasant with his wife Tanya to raise their family. They have lived in communities from Belle Hall to Dunes West. Then, in 2014, he won a seat on the Charleston County School Board, representing Mount Pleasant.
“I didn’t squander my time in office,” he said. “I made it my priority to quickly build relationships with the other board members to make sure that Mount Pleasant’s children received the resources they needed and to see that our tax dollars were wisely spent.”
He takes particular pride in the roles he played in the backing and building of the new Charleston Country School District stadium for District 2, and in securing funding for Lucy Beckham High School.
After completing his term on the school board, Staubes was elected president of the Carolina Council of the Boy Scouts of America. As a boy, he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and earned the coveted Silver Beaver Award.
Staubes also joined the Mount Pleasant Business Association, which he described as “a congenial group of businesspeople ranging from the proverbial ‘one-man shop’ to representatives of major banks and corporations.”
In 2015, he became the “accidental president” of that organization when the incumbent left town for a different job. Therefore, the elected vice president stepped up. During his term in that office, he used his legal training to assist the association in transitioning to its current identity as the Mount Pleasant Chamber of Commerce.
“I’ve been intimately involved in town activities for 30 years or so,” Staubes said about his roles. “So, when this opportunity arose to do something important for Mount Pleasant, I knew I wanted to be the guy the voters send to Columbia to do the job for them.”
In his bid to become the Republican candidate for the Statehouse, Staubes lists infrastructure and education as his priorities in representing the 80th district.
“Like much of America, the state of South Carolina is being held back by roads and bridges that have deteriorated over time and are currently subpar and even dangerous,” he observed. “While statewide infrastructure upgrades are important, the message from the District 80 representative has to be that the Lowcountry is different from communities in the Midlands and the Upstate. We have hurricanes. We have saltwater intrusion and we have bridges— often unsafe bridges— every few miles, or so it seems. Preparing for natural disasters, cleaning up after them, holding back the Atlantic Ocean and repairing our bridges and roadways costs a lot of money.”
On education, Staubes said his goal is “to work toward a more equitable share of state education dollars—your tax dollars— between the richer counties and the poorer ones.”
He expressed his genuine passion for District 80, noting that he does not see this office as a stepping stone, but as a job he wants to do correctly.
Chris Staubes will be opposed in the June 14 Republican primary by Kathy Landing, a Mount Pleasant businesswoman and a former councilwoman.
By Bill Farley