Seth Rose – House of Representatives District 72

Monday afternoon I was in a rather familiar place; the SC Statehouse. This time, I was there to celebrate and congratulate my friend, Seth Rose, at his swearing-in ceremony to the South Carolina House of Representatives.

My first introduction to Seth was through his sister-in-law, Amy Ackerman Cartin. Amy and I had been working together for a few years and she knew I wanted to get better at tennis. Also, she knew I was somewhat involved (or at least knowledgeable) in local politics and Seth was thinking of entering the arena.

Fast forward through a few text messages and I met Seth at the USC courts for a lesson. I had a tennis racquet in my hand and $35.00 for him in my sock. Of course, he had me on the side of the corner court that celebrates his name as an All-American USC tennis player.

I remember many times when we’d be rallying and I’d hit the ball out, and Seth would approach the net, “What do you think, man?” I’d say something to the effect of, “Do you know James? Do you know Joel? Carol? Don? Dick? Trav? David? Tige? Nigel? Damon? Mary? Tim? Ginger?”

Wanting to just hit some damn balls as we kept approaching the net I’d ask, “What’s your jam? Why do you want to be on council?”, I’d ask. His response, “I’m going to be tough on crime, man.” I said, “You know you’re going to be a defense attorney…”

To this day I can remember us approaching the net for the 1,000th time and Seth smacking his racquet frame on the net tape, “Dude, I’ve got like almost 550 Facebook friends, & she (Kit Smith) has 325. C’mon, man!!! Let’s do this!”

He was so fired up.

My second relationship with Seth is my profession (not tennis). I can still remember Seth and Anna wanting to purchase a 2/1 home in Shandon whereby I didn’t think it was a good fit for their current situation. I told both of them not to buy a particular house. Not because it wasn’t a cute and awesome…I just knew they would grow out of it immediately. With ants in their pants, they bought it anyway. It’s a long and fine story but Anna, Seth, and Amy are all proud of what happened and our relationship was cemented in trust.

Seth is intense. I can remember one Saturday when his in-laws had a backup contract on a house for sale. He called and texted on a Saturday morning AAALLLL fired up.  This may be gross, but truth told I hadn’t even peed yet and, horizontally, I told him as much. Further, the listing agent, the late great Rhett Wolfe hadn’t peed either and nothing Seth wanted to have happen, could have happened before then. Still, it stuck in my mind and I’m typing about it now.

Tuesday afternoon, in the well of the House of Representatives,  I saw two candidates that I ran alongside in 1996 (Remember the Thurmond vs Close year?). James Smith and Leon Lott first ran for office in ’96. They won and I lost (against Henry McMaster’s brother, Joe). I learned a few things from that experience: 1 – Sometimes you win, even though you lose (James actually mentioned this in his speech introducing Seth): 2 – If you run for office once, you’re considered a candidate for other vacancies and opportunities for years to come.

Fast forward a few years – When all that junk happened with then Lt. Gov. Ken Ard, that ultimately created the Ard, McConnell, Courson scenario, we thought Rep. James Smith and Rep. Nathan Ballentine would run for Courson’s Senate seat, leaving Smith’s House District’s 72 seat open. At the time I lived on Wilmot Ave., smack in the middle of Shandon. My phone was ringing.

While we were on the phone together I can remember a comment from Seth quoting his wife in the background, “She said, ‘I don’t want to run against Franklin. We’re friends’.” Seth and I continued on and I told him I wasn’t doing it. Who knows…we could have duked it out and whatnot but James kept his seat and that was that.

Seth’s personality is contagious, infectious, and can be tenacious. He also has the wherewithal to do what he thinks is right and if someone is mad about it, they will just need to huff and simmer.

I’m getting long here and I have funny stories everywhere but Seth has a superpower outside of work-ethic, charm, and tact: Her name is Anna Cartin Rose.

Well done, Seth Rose! I’m proud of you, my friend!

Franklin Jones

PS: Most of you know Seth’s sister-in-law, Amy, is sitting right in front of me and going to proof this before I post this haha

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