|Lee Bright, the SC legislator who sponsored a failed anti-transgender 'bathroom bill,' lost his re-election bid.|
Lee Bright a South Carolina state senator who earlier this year sponsored a failed anti-transgender bathroom bill, officially lost his bid for re-election on Tuesday.
According to the Charleston Post and Courier:
Voters launched a backlash against incumbents in runoff elections as a string of veteran lawmakers were tossed out of office Tuesday, including Spartanburg County Republican Sen. Lee Bright, who made gender bathrooms and defense of gun rights a cornerstone of his last months in office.
. . . Bright, also known for his failed bills to track refugees resettling in South Carolina and to limit which bathrooms transgender individuals can use, lost to former state Rep. Scott Talley, a favorite of both Gov. Nikki Haley and the S.C. Chamber of Commerce.
Earlier this year, Bright ignited a firestorm across the state by sponsoring an anti-transgender bill not unlike the controversial HB2 in North Carolina. The bill, which would have forced transgender men and women to use bathrooms and restrooms in accordance to the gender on their birth certificates, never got out of committee. Several public figures, including SC Governor Nikki Haley and Richland County Sherrif Leon Lott, voiced opposition to it.
Ironically, the bill galvanized SC's lgbt community and their allies while backfiring against Bright, leading him to take negative hits from both parties.
And it may have been that opposition which led to his defeat by painting picture of Bright as a legislator so busy with grabbing attention that he was neglecting less controversial, but just as important, issues .
According to Greenville Online:
The Conservation Voters of South Carolina said it knocked on 21,100 doors, made 7,500 phone calls, dropped 120,000 pieces of mail and spent more than $90,000 trying to unseat state Sen. Lee Bright, who scored the lowest of any senator on its legislative scorecard. Bright was also subjected to a seemingly endless barrage of attack ads on Greenville’s two conservative talk radio stations – courtesy of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, whose objections to Bright included his votes against tort reform, road-funding plans and aid to flood-stricken farmers.