Miller concedes to GOP's Ryan to represent District 108 in the SC House of Representatives

The Sun News- November 3, 2010

By Gina Vasselli

A 22-year-old Republican challenger defeated a 14-year incumbent Democrat to represent District 108 in the S.C. House of Representatives.

Vida Miller conceded defeat to Kevin Ryan on Tuesday, even without results from Charleston County's voters.

"I knew it was going to be close from our poll numbers," Miller said. "I wish him well."

Numbers from Charleston County were not available, but in Georgetown County Ryan had 54 percent of the vote compared with 45 percent for Miller, a longtime Pawleys Island businesswoman.

Ryan could not be reached for comment.

A big issue in the race was economic development, where Miller touted her experience and existing connections with legislators and other officials. During the campaign, Ryan said he would focus on specific infrastructure projects.

Ryan said the area will be in a much better position to attract new companies if it has good roads, ports and other necessities in place, such as an expanded U.S. 521 and a port that is at the intended 27-foot depth.

"If we don't have a way to get goods and products in and out of the area, [companies] look at other areas that do have that infrastructure in place," he said.

Ryan also said more fiscal control needed to be exercised at the state level so it would not be necessary to raise taxes or fees.

For much of the race, Miller and Tom Swatzel, in his role as Georgetown County Republican chairman, were engaged in a war of words about her record and allegations of campaign contribution violations.

Miller said it was possible she was caught in the anti-incumbent sentiment that was present across the country.