The Music Barn off Senate Street Wednesday night was the scene of Joel Lourie’s going-away party as he prepares to leave the S.C. Senate after 18 years in the Legislature.
There was an impressive, bipartisan turnout. Among the Republicans turning out to honor the Democrat was Speaker Jay Lucas. Veteran Republican operative Trey Walker was on hand, as was . I was told Susan Brill, the Republican running for the seat Mr. Lourie is vacating. John Courson was one of the hosts.
Katrina Shealy, the Republican senator who has been a particularly close ally of Mr. Lourie’s the last couple of years, was in attendance as well.
And then there were scads of Democrats, of course, starting with the other two musketeers, James Smith and Vincent Sheheen. And Beth Bernstein and Darrell Jackson, both co-hosts, and Mia McLeod, who’s also running for Joel’s seat, and Nikki Setzler, and Todd Rutherford, and a fairly long list of Dems who don’t hold office, like Phil Bailey and Trav Robertson.
Round it out with some media types, from veteran editorialist Cindi Scoppe to newcomer Tara Pettit of WACH-Fox, and the crowd was a testament to the senator’s distinguished years of service.
As our own Brad Warthen wrote on his blog, the Lourie era — which includes Joel’s father’s time in the Senate before him — has been one worth celebrating. Joel has done his late father’s memory proud with his honorable, principled service to his constituents and the people of South Carolina.
He will be missed. But he has decided to pull back and devote his attention to his business, Lourie Life and Health, and we wish him and his partner, Chris Johnson, great success.
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