Anton Gunn announces, with fanfare, his return to SC


Ran across this on Facebook today:

Long before anyone ever thought I would end up in Washington, DC working for The President of the United States, or helping to lead the implementation of healthcare reform, I was that big guy from South Carolina. South Carolina is where I decided to go to college in 1991. It’s where I played football. It’s where I met my wife. It’s where I became a man. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. Even though, I was born and raised in Virginia, I actually feel like I’m a native son of South Carolina. I have done community work and professional work in nearly every single county of South Carolina. I have built great relationships with people all over the state. Their love, commitment and passion about the goodness and potential of the state can be overwhelming. I share this overwhelming love, commitment and passion for South Carolina. It also it drives me. I have spent nearly two decades focused on doing my part to make South Carolina better. I have worked on health care issues, early childhood education, predatory lending, tax policy, small business issues, economic development and social service issues. I have done this as a community organizer, policy advocate, trainer, non-profit executive and small business owner. I also served in the South Carolina Legislature and did my best to be a positive force for change in the state.

Four years ago this week, I was asked to leave South Carolina to serve our country by working at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, I took this obligation seriously. I come from a long legacy of family members who were drafted or signed up to serve our country in some way. So I took this obligation seriously and I wanted to do my part (from a national position) to help South Carolina. I am proud of my time in federal service because I believe that I was able to have an impact in South Carolina. I got the chance to work with lots of great people while in the regional office in Atlanta and when I worked in Washington, DC. It felt good to be of help to South Carolina but I really missed working IN South Carolina.

Now, four years after I moved away, I am excited to announce that I will be coming back to South Carolina after I complete my Resident Fellowship at Harvard’s Institute of Politics. I will come back to South Carolina and do what I am most passionate about…health care. Specifically, I will continue doing my part to improve health outcomes for all people in the state. I firmly believe that good health and good healthcare are essential to being successful in life. If you are not healthy in your mind, body or your spirit how is it possible to achieve your God given potential in life? I truly don’t believe you can. I am sure you have seen how a deprived and unhealthy state of existence can impede the success of a person, organization or community. However, if we understand, engage and master our health and healthcare system, we can unleash the unconquerable power of the human spirit in all of us and impact our state. We become a stronger community when we all are healthier. We become a better community when we embrace diversity as a strength and use it make our futures brighter, together. It is with good health and good diversity that we can achieve all of our goals and dreams in South Carolina.

Those that know me should know that I have a sense of humor and a love for sports. I thought it would be pretty funny to use a morphed photo of my favorite basketball player’s (sarcasm) way of announcing that he was going back to his home state, as an image for my reasons of returning to South Carolina. So if you don’t like my LeBron James morph, please just take it for face value, a joke. But in all seriousness, LeBron’s reasons for going back to Cleveland are very similar to my reasons for coming back to South Carolina. I love the state. I love the people. I want to raise my daughter there and I want to use all of my skills, experiences and will power to add value to South Carolina. I think South Carolina is stronger when we get everyone who lives outside of South Carolina, but are from South Carolina or have a passion for South Carolina to move back and help make the state better for all of ours future.

So I am coming home and I am so excited to be coming back. See you all in January 2015.

P.S. I am moving to Charleston, SC…news story to follow shortly!

Far as I’m concerned, SC should be grateful to get him back. He was a very positive force in the House during his brief stint there, and I was sorry to see him go.

By the way, not being a sports guy, I didn’t get the LeBron James reference. Apparently, he was referring to the image below…


14 thoughts on “Anton Gunn announces, with fanfare, his return to SC

    1. Harry Harris

      ‘Cause Gunn’s got game – political game. He will be a strong voice and advocate for improving the ways we do some healthcare delivery and wellness activities here. I’ guessing he will be bold and persistent – something we need.

      1. Barry

        Anton is a good guy. He was my representative for a short while and he’s responsive.

        Healthcare in America needs a fix- and ObamaCare doesn’t do that.

        Hopefully he’s not returning just to proclaim out wonderful Obamacare is. Hopefully he’ll actually do some things to improve healthcare- not just on the funding side.

      1. Doug Ross

        Well, he says he’s a community organizer so we know where that can lead him.

        My guess is that he’s looking for some government funding to do whatever he wants to do. It’s a noble ambition practiced by many people. And the benefit is that you don’t really have to do anything.

      2. Bryan Caskey

        Hufflepuff is awarded two points for his humorous presentation.

        I want to hear more about Brad’s career as a kick-boxer in Thailand’s shadowy underworld.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          I told about that in this post, back in 2005.

          Actually, I thought I wrote about that more extensively — I’m very proud of the episode (because I kept fighting, even after he hit me a SECOND time in the already-broken ribs, which knocked the wind out and dropped me for a few seconds), while my wife considers it proof positive that I’m an idiot.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Anton is perhaps the most impressive person I’ve seen elected to the General Assembly in the past 10 years. I was impressed from the first time I met him, even though we didn’t endorse him that time (he was up against someone else we liked a lot, Bill Cotty).

      And I was even more impressed when he got into office. He was serious and thoughtful about issues, and seemed to have little interest in playing the usual partisan games. Or the usual Identity Politics games, either.

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