State Senate candidates have their say

MaryGail Douglas challenges incumbent Mike Fanning for SC Senate District 17 seat.

Incumbent Mike Fanning

Fanning did not respond to The Voice’s request for a campaign statement.


Challenger MaryGail Douglas

I am honored to have the opportunity to offer myself as a Democratic Candidate for South Carolina Senate District 17 (all of Chester and Fairfield Counties and portions of York County). As you may know, I served as Representative in the South Carolina House for District 41 from 2013 until 2018. While I was a Member of the SC House, I earned a reputation among my Statehouse colleagues as someone willing to roll up her sleeves and work with them to do the right thing for South Carolina and all of its people.

Public service has been my life’s work. Long before my 6 years as a State Representative, after graduating from the University of South Carolina, I started my career at Fairfield Memorial Hospital, where I worked for over a decade before taking a position at the Fairfield County Council on Aging, serving as Director, until retirement. During my career I was also elected President of the SC Association of Council on Aging Directors (1998 – 1999) and was a Charter Board Member of the SC ElderCare Trust Fund (1995).

I continued to champion elder and healthcare issues during my years as a Legislator, working with my colleagues to secure funding of over $400,000 in respite care for our family caregivers throughout the State, $750,000 for the new Fairfield Behavioral Health building in Winnsboro, and over $4,000,000 to help build the new 24-hour Winnsboro Providence ER – saving emergency care in the County. Among other successes as District 41 Representative, I also helped secure numerous State grants for vital infrastructure and for parks and recreation projects in Chester and Fairfield Counties. I was able to help get this assistance into our District because my colleagues in the Statehouse came to know that I would work with them to help improve the quality of life in their Districts and to advance problem solving anywhere throughout our State. As you know, we generally find that others will work with us if we will work with them.

While I can’t promise you that I would ever be the loudest voice in the Statehouse, I can promise you that I have the background, the experience, and the work ethic to represent you successfully and honorably as your State Senator – and that others in our Statehouse (many whose votes one needs to get anything done for their District) know it.

Regardless of who you choose to support, please exercise your right to vote. We have surrendered many things in the last few months. Your vote is your voice – don’t surrender your voice.

I humbly ask you for your vote when you complete your ballot, which you can do now, absentee, or on Election Day, June 9. I would be honored to work with you and for you as your next State Senator.