Whoa! Anton Gunn drops out to take federal post

This just in:

Dear Friends, Constituents of House District 79 and the people of South Carolina,
As your State Representative, I have been blessed with the honor of serving you and taking your concerns and voiceswith me to the State House. This is a privilege that I have taken very seriously. Thank you for entrusting this office to me. I have not taken the opportunity for granted and I have served you each day with purpose and passion. My goal has always been to make our state and community better by improving the health, safety and well-being of all South Carolinians. By making sure our government was responsive and accountable, I have worked across the aisle to move closer to that goal. While serving as your Representative, I have done my best to help people and to serve with integrity, honor and humility.
It is with these thoughts in mind that I have been faced with a very honorable yet tough decision. Recently, The United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius has asked me to accept a presidential appointment to serve as the Regional Director of the United States Department of Health & Human Services in the South (Region IV). The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the United States government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. It plays an important role in our nation. Whether helping children, seniors and the disabled, or protecting our public health, this agency plays a critical role in our nation’s security.
I am humbled by the consideration to accept this senior position. It is not every day that a person is given an opportunity to either serve their country broadly or to continue the pursuit of re-election for House District 79. This decision weighed upon me heavily as I consider it a privilege to be of service in any capacity to the people of this state. After much prayer and deliberation with my family, I believe I can benefit the people of my district and South Carolina by answering the call to serve as the Region IV Director in the US Department of Health and Human Services in Atlanta, Georgia.
Therefore, I will not be seeking re-election as your State House Representative. As most of you know, I have always considered South Carolina to be my home. After graduating as a Gamecock, this is where I chose to live, marry and raise my family. While living here for nearly 20 years, my experiences with the people and my ties to the community have always been my motivation to seek public service.
This is not only a tremendous honor for me personally but a tremendous opportunity for our state. There are dire human service needs in South Carolina and across the Southern Region. As regional director, I will be able to have a greater impact on the quality of life for South Carolina’s seniors, children, disabled and the working poor.
As the Secretary’s senior appointee in the Southern Region I will continue to work on these issues that I have been passionate about while serving as your representative. The commitment to God, family, community and my fellow man are the values that I will carry with me into this next endeavor.
My family and I ask for your prayers and understanding.
Anton J. Gunn

OK, I’m stunned. And saddened. Anton has easily been one of the most promising young lawmakers in the State House.

Also, does this mean that Sheri Few wins this time? Wow, what a loss.

18 thoughts on “Whoa! Anton Gunn drops out to take federal post

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    Seems like a better reason to resign than some other politicians have given–cough Sarah Palin cough

  2. Phillip

    Sounds like he’s given up on South Carolina, or at least his electoral prospects here in the future, for which I can’t really blame him…plus this way he has probably 6 years to proceed upward within the Obama Administration (assuming an Obama win in 2012 which is still likely, given the fatal flaws of all current GOP frontrunners).

  3. Brad

    No, he was not on track to lose.

    As for whether Sheri Few will now win — that’s my expectation. She’s run so many times now, and this time she got the nomination. I figure she’s built up enough name recognition that it would be hard for anyone else who is an established name to catch up and pass her at this point.

    Also, this is the year for Tea Party types. Even though she technically is more of an older-school culture warrior, she speaks Tea Party with the worst of ’em.

    Others disagree. One is Wes Wolfe, who said in a Tweet, “If a cashew nut got on the ballot, it would beat that freakshow.” I rather think Wes is expressing his wishes, though, rather than analyzing the situation dispassionately.

    Interestingly, though, Sanford Chief of Staff Scott English also disagrees with my assessment. He says “There are a lot more voters in the NE Columbia [by which I suppose he means Democrats] part of that district than in the Kershaw side. I live a block outside the dist.”

    Maybe he’s right.

    Finally, while I suppose Anton views this as a great opportunity, and actively wants it, to me it sounds hardly more pleasant than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Not that work has to be fun, but this sounds SO dreary that there would have to be SOME fun bits to make up for it for me to want to do it. And I can’t imagine what the fun bits would be.

    But thank goodness, we’re all different. And I wish Anton well. He will be missed. There were not enough people like him in SC politics.

  4. Tom Fillinger

    Sheri Few hs a world view that is not aligned with the slaughter of innocents, the ‘nanny state’ as the primary agent in the education of children and numerous other honorable positions.

    I had nor do I have any issues with Mr. Gunn and wish him only the best. Just thought it important to bring some rationality and integrity to this BLOG since . . .

  5. Ralph Hightower

    Apparently, I live on the other side of the road from Nathan Ballentine’s House District.

    My neighbors across the road from me are turkeys; the “gobble, gobble” kind.

    Anton will be missed. I think he wass one of the sensible minds in the House. Plus, he’s a Gamecock!

  6. Herbie

    Off topic, but I was out at a bar after 2 am Friday and did not cause any crime or other havoc.

  7. Box Turtle

    Last year I attended some Tea Party-related event on the grounds of the Statehouse. While other speakers talked about the Founding Fathers and American ideals, Few took the opportunity to give a stump speech, extolling her virtues and ranting about how Gunn was in league with Obama and Pelosi. She is exactly what we don’t need in the Legislature.

  8. Barry

    I live in Anton’s district. Anton was a good rep. I’d have voted for him again. I’ve met Few. In fact, I’ve talked to her in my own driveway. I like her personally. But I don’t think I can vote for her. I think Anton’s making a mistake in leaving, but it’s his mistake to make.

  9. Mark Stewart

    Shelter from the storm. He’ll likely be back – with credentials. But, dreary first posting. More in the offing, maybe?

  10. Wally Altman

    Caught this news on the radio this morning… not a great way to start the week. I wish him well, but I also wish he’d stayed, or failing that, left sooner and given someone else a better chance to beat Ms. Few.

  11. Travis Fortune

    i feel sorry for anton, he is a good man, however he like many others have been blinded by the light that shines from the heavens onto barrack obama. it’s a mistake to give up on the people you serve to become a lemming. it’s a sad time for politics…

  12. Robert Dixon

    Anton, I wish you and your family well. You are really a person for the people. You’re always welcome in S.C. When my late Aunt Queen spoke of people having grace; I can truly associate it you. Although you did not represent my district, you represented many of my views. You are a great inspiration and I appreciate your presence. Congrats.

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