No, the group above isn’t our delegation but it’s the best picture I can find on the web for Representative Todd Rutherford (D-Richland) who may soon be the leader of our Richland County Delegation (House and Senate).

As you may know, Senator Kay Patterson (D-Richland) retired after over a quarter-century of service in the General Assembly. He’s led the delegation for my four years (and many more before I was there) and – as with much in the State House these next few months – there is change coming locally to us in Richland County.

Sometime later this year (or early January 2009) when our delegation gets together for our “once a year meeting”, I expect Todd to have the votes needed to chair the delegation. In talking with Todd, there’s a few things I (he and others, too) hope to see.

1) More than a “once a year meeting”. As the one member who serves on both Richland AND Lexington delegations, I believe Richland can and should meet more often. (Lexington County Delegation meets monthly).

2) A rotation of the chairmanship between House and Senate members (again, much like Lexington and I’m sure other delegations in the state).

3) Cooperation in and for the Midlands. For the record, I’m in the minority party here in Richland. There are only 4 Republicans on the entire delegation (Reps. Harrison, Brady, me and Senator Courson). The cooperation I seek is not saying that there are internal fights within the delegation but that there’s just really no communication or collaberation on our legislation to help meet the needs our state – or the Midlands Community. Granted, it could just be that “partisianship” gets in the way, who knows? It’s almost like “the river” that gets in the way between the groups from Richland and Lexington. I’m hopeful though that with change comes some good.

If Todd indeed is our next Chairman (and he has my commitment already), I look forward to positive changes under his leadership.