Mary Barber Kirkland, S.C. House Dist. 70

4 p.m. —
Mary Barber
, whose father and grandfather were both school principals and
has spent 39 years in public education herself, is challenging Rep. Joe
Neal. Originally from Hopkins, she has been involved in a lot of
community efforts in lower Richland. She says she’s running because she
"wanted a leader who is visible and focused." She declined to criticize
the incumbent, although those points are common to candidates who have
opposed Mr. Neal (unsuccessfully) in the past — assertions that he is
not engaged enough locally between elections.

But Mrs. Kirkland
preferred to talk about what she would do, and she would concentrate on
education and economic development, the latter being particularly
sorely needed in her district.

She believes that parental and community
involvement are the main elements needed for children to succeed in
school, and she has seen her share of children struggling — and says
she has seen gang involvement as young as the second grade — "I can
see the little ones joining now… seeking that family that they don’t
have at home."

She also favors programs that enable senior
citizens to share their wisdom with younger generations.

2 thoughts on “Mary Barber Kirkland, S.C. House Dist. 70

  1. Lee Muller

    Before there can be any “parental involvement”, there will have to be some parents. Right now, 73% of the children in poverty have one or zero parents, mostly born out of wedlock and with many of the parents in jail.
    I think the black community and do-gooders need to solve the root cause before they waste any effort treating the symptoms with more tax money.

  2. Brad Warthen

    We seem to have pressed Lee’s “black people” button, thereby producing the standard kneejerk response…
    Anyway, I meant to add something about Mrs. Kirkland. During the course of her career, she happened to teach Associate Editor Warren Bolton, when he was at A.C. Flora High School. Warren adds that he thinks she is also a distant cousin, but he jokes that about half the people who come in here can say that (Warren’s from a very big family.)
    Warren was not a part of this interview, but did step in for a moment to say hi.

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