An Orangeburg veteran Democratic incumbent senator will face a political newcomer in the June 11 primary.

Sen. Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg, will face Democratic candidate Kendrick Rashad Brown Sr.

District 40 includes Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton and Orangeburg counties.

The newly drawn Senate District 40 includes the western suburbs of the City of Orangeburg, including Pecan Way Terrace, Orangeburg Country Club and Rivelon.

The district stretches to include Cordova, Norway, Neeses, North, Wolfton, Woodford and Springfield. It continues to include all of Bamberg County.

The district also stretches to include all of Allendale and  Barnwell counties.

The new district has also gained the northern portions of Aiken County from Salley down to Mount Beulah all the way to Monetta.

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Four years ago, Hutto defeated Michael Addison in the Democratic primary, receiving 71% of the vote. It is the first time Brown has run for political office.

The winner will face Republican candidate Sharon Carter in the Nov. 5 general election.

Carter ran unsuccessfully for the S.C. House District 90 seat in 2022 against Rep. Justin Bamberg, D-Bamberg).

Brown said if elected he would like to address a number of issues he sees in the district, including financial disparity, and its relationship to crime, unemployment and the lack of educational/youth resources.

“Many areas of South Carolina are producing citizens that have the potential to revolutionize their communities, yet have to live through the trauma of watching poverty dim their prospective perspective of the future,” Brown said. “Our communities must unite to help cultivate a better environment for future generations.”

“However, our communities also need support in providing positive spaces for citizens to thrive,” Brown continued. “Our people need help being seen or heard. I hope the light I am shining on our communities is bright enough for more people to give us a chance. Together, we can boost the economy, decrease unemployment and poverty, and create a strong infrastructure for our communities by investing in the quality of life of all people.”

Brown lists a number of other specific issues he would tackle:

  • Increasing teacher salaries
  • Reforming public education and recreation
  • Increasing affordable housing opportunities
  • Promoting job opportunities and small business initiatives
  • Improving law enforcement and community relations
  • Increasing accessibility to affordable health care
  • Offering greater support for families
  • Supporting downtown revitalization

“This campaign aims to energize as many people as possible to maximize their potential,” Brown said. “I am running to be part of the positive change our communities need. The youth deserve someone to represent their needs and concerns.”

“My attempt to make a change will hopefully spark something in every individual who desires to make the world a better place,” Brown said.

Brown said as a teacher he embodies the “passion, ambition and courage the next generation wants to be the foundation for the future of this area.”

“My ability to build relationships with students and other professionals to establish the best learning environment will instantly translate to this position,” he said.

Brown was born in Orangeburg and his father is from Denmark and his mother from Midway in Bamberg.

He went to Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School, graduating in 2013.

After high school, Brown worked as a program adviser for the Emerging Scholars Program at Clemson University, a college-access program for high school students from the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

Brown also served as a data analyst with the Charleston County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.

He also worked as behavior support lead/grant writer for Wings for Kids, an after-school program to help children succeed in school.

Brown graduated from Clemson University in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education. He went on to receive his master’s degree in public administration from Clemson in 2022.

After earning a bachelor’s, Brown went back to teach at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School, where he has taught for four years. He is an English teacher at the school.

Currently, Brown is the girls head basketball coach at Bamberg-Ehrhardt Middle School, head coach of the junior varsity soccer team and a head coach of Bamberg First Baptist Church’s K.I.C.K.S children’s soccer league.

He also teaches vacation Bible school at Pilgrim Baptist Church in Bamberg.

When he is not working in the community, Brown enjoys spending time with his wife, Jalia, two sons, his corgi, Chase, and friends and family. In addition to his sons, the couple also has a daughter expected to be born toward the end of May.

He also enjoys reading, video games, writing/ playing music and exercising.

Hutto, who has been in the S.C. Senate for 30 years, expressed his appreciation to the citizens in District 40 for allowing him to serve for three decades.

He said his biggest priority has been and will always be making sure rural voices are heard in Columbia.

“As someone who has lived in rural South Carolina my whole life, I understand the challenges facing rural communities in our state,” Hutto said. “I am proud to have been instrumental in promoting funding for rural school districts, in expanding ways for our smaller communities to access quality health care, in allocating millions of dollars to improve our roads, schools and parks, and in bringing new industry into our area to allow our citizens to obtain good jobs.”

“Expanding job opportunities in our district is vital, as is ensuring everyone has the education they need for the future they want,” Hutto said. “I was proud to help lead the effort to make access to technical colleges free for almost every South Carolina student.”

Hutto said he will continue to fight for rural education funding, including the recruitment, retention and increase in pay for school teachers and employees, providing affordable housing and bringing more health care workers to our area.

Hutto also said he will continue to support “laws to increase our access to clean water and vital infrastructure, and laws that hold firm on our community’s values, like the right to make our own health care decisions.”

Hutto cited in particular his “fight against the abortion ban pushed by extreme members of other parties.”

“I have introduced legislation to protect access to IVF (in vitro fertilization) and birth control,” he said.

“I will never stop fighting to expand Medicaid to ensure everyone has access to the care they need,” Hutto continued. “It’s why I worked to get the funding needed to open the Barnwell-Bamberg Emergency Medical Center after the hospitals closed.”

Hutto also said he will continue to fight gun laws that “put families and our first responders at risk.”

“Ninety percent of the state, including 73% of Republicans, believe we need to close the ‘Charleston loophole’ and make sure every gun owner passes a background check, no matter where or how they buy their gun,” Hutto said.

Hutto currently sits on a number of committees in the S.C. Senate, including the Judiciary, Education and Medical Affairs. Hutto has served as Senate minority leader since November 2020.

Hutto has received the endorsement of U.S. District 6 Congressman James Clyburn.

Outside of his service in the Senate, Hutto has served as chairman of the Orangeburg County Democratic Party, 1988-94. And he currently serves as chairman of the Orangeburg County Legislative Delegation.

He is a practicing trial attorney, having worked with Orangeburg’s Williams and Williams law firm since 1982.

He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina Honors College. Hutto obtained his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

When Hutto is not in Columbia or in a courtroom, he is heavily involved in the Boy Scouts.

He is an Eagle Scout and well known for contributions to the Boy Scouts of America, having served at the unit level as a Cubmaster of Pack 90.

On the federal level, Hutto ran for election in 2014 for the U.S. Senate. He defeated Jay Stamper in the Democratic primary but lost the general election to Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Hutto is married to Orangeburg pediatrician Dr. Tracy Macpherson and the couple has one child, Skyler. Skyler is also an Orangeburg attorney.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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