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White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney returned to his home state to help recognize state House Rep. Alan Clemmons at an award ceremony in Myrtle Beach honoring the local lawmaker.
Clemmons, a Republican, received the Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award Saturday from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The nonprofit organization promotes principles such as limited government, free markets and federalism.
“It’s very humbling,” Clemmons said. “When you look at the list of those who have been honored with this award and it includes Ronald Reagan and ... so many other people that I hold as leaders and heroes in the political world, to be honored with the same award that they were honored with and to be the only legislator in this country to receive that award this year is just an amazing, humbling thing for me."
Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget who formerly served in the S.C. House of Representatives and state senate, applauded Clemmons’ work toward improving U.S.-Israeli relations and his focus on deregulation.
“Men and women like [him] are really a big part of why this country is as successful as it is,” he said.
A Myrtle Beach native, Clemmons is a real estate attorney who represents District 107, having served in the state house since 2003. He served as ALEC’s national board chairman last year.
“When it comes to individual liberty, when it comes to free enterprise, you won’t find a more qualified champion, nor someone more eager to take up the charge,” said Sherry Street, ALEC’s vice president for policy advancement, who added Clemmons has approached state policy with a “solutions first attitude” and an instinct to understand how an issue in one state might affect another.
Since Clemmons was elected to office, she said, he has helped reduce the cost of prescription drugs for low-income seniors, fought to protect individual retirement accounts and has protected state wildlife with sustainable hunting policies.
"He's also reduced the property tax burden on hardworking families, opening the door to homeownership for his neighbors here," Street said. “From criminal justice reform and civil asset forfeiture to protecting donor privacy and fighting for educational choice and beyond, Representative Clemmons has been here fighting the good fight."
Mulvaney’s visit to South Carolina comes amid President Donald Trump’s ongoing impeachment trial and a call from Democrats for Mulvaney to testify.