NEWBERRY — Sen. Tim Scott likes to connect with his constituents on a personal level.
Desire for engagement with the community and an opportunity to thank Councilman John E. Caldwell, who was honored last year for his 30 years of service, is what brought Scott to Newberry on Tuesday afternoon.
“I’m just an everyday guy,” Scott said. “It’s important to me to engage with people one-on-one, not as a senator, but as a guy who cares a lot about his community.”
During his visit, Scott saw Figaro the Market and the Newberry County Chamber of Commerce.
Scott congratulated and thanked Caldwell, who retires this year, for his 31 years of service.
“I’ve been tired,” Caldwell joked. “Now, I’m going to be retired.”
Newberry Mayor Foster Senn joined G. Keith Avery, president and CEO of Newberry Electric, Councilman Scott Cain and Ted Smith, executive director of Chamber of Commerce for Scott’s visit.
“We were honored to have Sen. Scott visit,” Senn said. “It gave local officials, leaders in the business community and Newberry citizens that were downtown a chance to meet Senator Scott and give him their opinions of issues on their mind.”
Scott said paying an official visit to every county in the state is important to him, but he also praised the value of inconspicuous visits, which he feels allows for a more direct, business-like approach.
“I am a business owner, and I have been for 15 years,” Scott said. “I’m no longer a business owner, but I still feel like one, and for me what’s important is having a chance to talk business — to talk to students about what they want to do with their lives.”
During his visit, Scott took time to speak with Sloane Young and Taylor Jennet, Newberry College students, and take pictures.
Scott said an important part of his visits are gaining a feel for the qualities and energy a city, town or county possesses, and he had positive things to say about what he feels in Newberry.
“One of the most important questions you can answer affirmatively is am I my brother’s keeper?” Scott said. “If you want to see that answer being yes in a positive, constructive way, look no further than Newberry.”