U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., now has a permanent district office in Aiken, recognized during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at West Suite 300 at the Aiken County Complex on Richland Avenue Tuesday.
Ronnie Young, the Aiken County Council chairman, had invited Wilson and his staff members to utilize the space at the complex.
“It really shows the cooperation we’ve had,” Wilson said. “We work at county-level and the municipal-level and their elected officials and mayors. It’s all backed up by the Chamber of Commerce. There are so many people who make a difference to this community, and I look forward to working with the delegation.”
The Aiken office will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Wilson and his staff also participated in a ceremony at the North Augusta Municipal Building at 100 Georgia Ave. Officials there have provided part-time space in the building – each Tuesday from 9 a.m. to noon.
“We want to be available to provide the most efficient constituent service, being accessible and available,” said Ted Felder, Wilson’s district office director.
J. David Jameson, the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, said Wilson started providing service to those in the area many years ago.
“You’ve always been interested in what is going on in Aiken County and for that we’re much appreciative,” Jameson told Wilson. “You and I do go back 30 years or so.”
Wilson noted he and S.C. Sen. Tom Young, R-Aiken, go back a long way, too. Young was once a page for Wilson and current S.C. Sen. John Coursen when the legislators shared an office.
“I’m so proud of Tom’s success. Excuse me, the senator’s success,” Wilson said to laughter.
The turnout for the event speaks volumes about how much the community supports Wilson and his team, Young said.
Ronnie Young said Aiken County officials and residents are glad to have in Wilson a friend in Washington, D.C., and also in the community.
Wilson pointed out that Young and the County Council helped locate a temporary office for his staff in 2012, even before the 2nd District formally was revamped to include all of Aiken County.
Population changes determined through the 2010 census resulted in the creation of a 7th Congressional seat in South Carolina. Wilson had served Aiken County with U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C. Wilson took the entire county through redistricting.
Wilson talked with constituents after the ribbon-cutting. During an interview, he reiterated his support with five other S.C. congressmen in urging Obama to support the MOX project at the Savannah River Site.
“We’re hopeful by pointing out that the president has supported MOX, and so has Hillary Clinton,” Wilson said.