By: Brandon Drake, Contributing Writer
Simpsonville resident, Garey Collins, seeks the republican nomination for the South Carolina House District 35 seat in the June 9 primary election.
Collins believes that South Carolina is being over-taxed and underserved. As the state continues to slip to the bottom of many nationwide rankings, Collins believes that taxes will increase and that politicians earmark more of our money for unnecessary pet projects. It is his goal to put a stop to pork barrel politics if elected.
As a constitutional conservative, Collins seeks to represent the real interests of the folks in District 35 and not those of political lobbies. Above all else, he is focused on bringing conservative fiscal reform to South Carolina, fighting for education reform (such as school choice and home school credits), and ending the entrenched system of self-serving “good ol’ boys” who are more concerned with their wallets than yours.
While Collins has not served in a political office, he has a long history of political activism that has helped to prepare him. Throughout his life, Collins has faced adversity and challenges without ever losing his resolve, be it during his early life as a foster child or his long service in the U.S. Military. Collins is in many ways the candidate with the most life experience, which has been earned through a long track record of responsible service to his country and community.
Born and raised in Indiana, Collins was one of 13 siblings. At the age of five, his father passed, resulting in Collins and his siblings being placed into foster care. He lived in four different homes and orphanages throughout his time in the foster system. And after attending seven different high schools, Collins graduated in 1982.
In 1983, Collins joined the Air Force. His basic training took place at the Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, which was followed by aircraft maintenance training at the Sheppard Air Force Base, also in Texas. He was later reassigned to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Then, in 1986, Collins was transferred to Bitburg Air Base in Germany, where he served as a Special Olympics coach.
When the Gulf War began in 1990, Collins was sent to the Persian Gulf. He rotated between stations in Turkey and the Middle East for more than 26 months. In 1994, he returned stateside, serving at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and then to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.
Collins honorably separated from the U.S. Air Force before enlisting in the National Guard, becoming a recruit for the Artillery Battalion. In 2000, he transferred to Fort Drum, New York, where he became a service recruiter. Finally, after decades of service, Collins retired in December 2004.
After meeting and later marrying his wife Katie, the two of them moved to South Carolina in 2006. They have three children — two boys and a girl, aged eleven, nine, and five, respectively. Currently, the Collins family resides in the Five Forks area.
While he is now a stay-at- home dad, he is still active in the community. He serves as a substitute teacher for the Greenville County School District, a special needs mentor, an on-call school bus driver, and a YMCA Youth Coach (for soccer, basketball, and T-ball). Additionally, he’s an South Carolina High School League (SCHSL) basketball official, an S.C. Church League official, and a soon-to-be SCHSL football official. He volunteers on the Monarch Elementary School and Mauldin Middle School PTAs, serves on the Home Owner’s Association Board, and works as a political activist with the aim of returning control of South Carolina to regular folks.
*The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Woodruff Times. The Woodruff Times does not endorse any political candidate or political party.