U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-Springdale) has been traveling around the 2nd Congressional District all this week on his annual bus tour, with stops in Aiken, Irmo, Richland Northeast and finally, in Orangeburg and Barnwell counties on Thursday. His final scheduled whistle-stop on this five-county tour is Thursday afternoon at 2 at Shealy’s Bar-B-Q in Batesburg-Leesville.
Last week, The Twin-City News requested an interview with Rep. Wilson, but his schedulers were unable to arrange a sit-down with the congressman prior to his visit. Instead, The Twin-City News submitted a series of questions to Rep. Wilson’s communications office. Late Wednesday afternoon, the newspaper received the following written responses to our Q&A request:
TCN: Why is this bus tour of the 2nd Congressional District essential to your vision of constituency service?
REP. WILSON: I am grateful to be able to travel throughout South Carolina’s Second District on my annual bus tour. Being able to speak face-to-face with my community is an essential part of my work representing the people of the Second District.
TCN: When you go on this tour, do you find yourself strictly speaking to an echo chamber of partisan conservative thought, or is there a legitimate exchange of ideas with Democrats and others who might not share your point-of-view?
REP. WILSON: This tour allows me the opportunity to hear the voices of all members of my community and openly discuss the issues currently facing our country.
TCN: What is the practical application of this bus tour? Is it simply a series of photo ops, or is there a legitimate gathering of input and insight from people from around the District? And how is this information put to use?
REP. WILSON: My annual bus tour of South Carolina’s Second District helps me stay accountable to the people I represent. I am always open to hearing the opinions and concerns of my community, and this tour allows me to do that first-hand. I am grateful to represent such a remarkable community.
TCN: Was Shealy’s Bar-B-Q as the last stop on the tour a calculated decision? Are you expecting to enjoy the pulled pork and fried chicken so much that you’ll need Friday off to recover?
REP. WILSON: Concluding the tour at Shealy’s is a tradition that I look forward to every year for the delicious BBQ and fried chicken with a side of great company and hospitality.
From Staff Reports / Posted August 28, 2019