Post & Courier Ranks Performance of Area State Legislators

Five-Term Rep. Vida Miller ranked as a "Private"
First-Term Sen. Ray Cleary ranked as a "Sergeant"

Contact: Tom Swatzel (843) 357-1673

GEORGETOWN--The Charleston Post & Courier on Saturday published an article that used military terms to rank the effectiveness and performance of Charleston area state legislators, ranking five-term Democrat Rep. Vida Miller-Pawleys Island, as a "Private" and first-term Republican Senator Ray Cleary-Murrells Inlet, as a "Sergeant."

The article "looked at the legislators' effectiveness, taking into account their ability and effort in reaching their own priorities, as well as the legislation they introduced and passed, and their participation and persuasiveness in floor debates. . . and ranks them by their apparent leadership roles."

According to the Post & Courier, Miller earned the lowest rank because "She's served in the House since 1997, but, like other Democrats, she doesn't always gain traction." In the most recent legislative session, Miller did not get any of the four bills of which she was a primary sponsor passed. Of the 48 bills that she co-sponsored, nine became law.

About Cleary the article stated that he "is outspoken on coastal insurance issues. He has a reputation of keeping his word." Cleary was the primary sponsor of seven bills of which one passed and the co-sponsor of 64 bills, getting 13 passed.

Georgetown County Republican Party Chairman Tom Swatzel said, "This objective ranking of the performance of Miller and Cleary just crystallizes the importance of a legislator being a member of the Republican majority in the General Assembly to be the most effective for constituents. According to the article, as a first-term Republican Senator, Cleary already has substantially more legislative clout than five-term Democrat Rep. Miller."

Both Cleary and Miller are up for reelection next year. Swatzel says district voters will be looking particularly hard at Miller's performance record.