LAURENS Co., S.C. (WSPA) — One month after a landslide re-election, an Upstate lawmaker has announced his retirement.
South Carolina Rep. Mike Pitts said in a social media post that he’s taking the advice of his doctors and family and will retire Dec. 31 following two rounds of cancer treatment, a heart attack and surgery.
Pitts said his official resignation will take effect Jan. 3, 2019.
The 16-year Statehouse veteran represents House District 14, which includes Laurens and Greenwood counties.
Pitts posted the following announcement Sunday on Facebook:
To the citizens of South Carolina House District 14:
Thank you for the incredible honor and privilege of representing the finest citizens of South Carolina for the past 16 years. I have given you my best effort, standing firm on principle while building alliances to help lead our state forward. This is how a democratic republic is supposed to work. You may not have agreed with me at times, but you always knew with certainty where I stood on any issue.
During my tenure, I have faced some harsh personal challenges with two rounds of cancer treatment, and on October 20 of this year, a heart attack and surgery. My doctors say I can make a full recovery in time, with patience, rehabilitation, a far less hectic schedule and a reduction in stress. Serving in an elected position becomes more stressful each year; as the poison of politics grows, so do the daily demands of constituents. Chairing the House Ethics Committee during an investigation into certain House members has been particularly stressful.
With that said, based on the advice of my doctors and my family—to whom I want to express eternal gratitude for their support of my endeavors—I have decided I should retire from the legislature. My plans are to remain active in another capacity with a more singular focus and more manageable schedule to maximize my effectiveness.
My retirement will be effective December 31, 2018, with an official resignation effective January 3, 2019. This will trigger a special election to fulfill the term for which I was just elected. To the handful with all the answers, here’s your opportunity to step into the arena. To those who don’t have all the answers but are ready to ask the right questions, I implore you to prayerfully consider public service.
Family, friends and supporters, thank you again for the opportunity to make a difference. Together, we have.
Merry Christmas and God bless you all.
Pitts, a retired police officer, has been a vocal supporter of Second Amendment rights.
He also opposed the removal of the Confederate flag from Statehouse grounds.
Pitts was re-elected last month with almost 98 percent of the vote.
A special election will be held to fill Pitts’ term.