Beaufort Today -

SC Sen. Tom Davis nixes 2018 governor bid

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina state Sen. Tom Davis says he’s out for next year’s GOP gubernatorial race, telling The Associated Press on Wednesday he can have a greater impact on state government by continuing in the Legislature.

The 57-year-old Republican lawmaker said he concluded after considerable thought that “the timing simply isn’t right for me to run a statewide campaign … I’m just not in a position to undertake an endeavor of this magnitude.” He did not say if he planned to endorse any of the announced candidates.

Elected in November to a third four-year term representing the Beaufort area, Davis went on to say that his position in the Legislature gives him an opportunity to make more of a difference in South Carolina than from the Governor’s Mansion.

“South Carolina government is dominated by the Legislature, and recent history has shown that reform-minded governors without legislative support can’t get much accomplished,” he said. “I’m in a unique position in the state Senate to impact public policy on behalf of individual liberty and free markets — in some cases to a greater degree than if I were in the governor’s office.”

In the state Senate, Davis crafted and sponsored South Carolina’s first medical marijuana legislation, a 2014 law allowing doctors to authorize their epileptic patients to take cannabis oil to alleviate their seizures.