A local pastor running for the State House calls himself “the conservative grassroots choice.”

Kevin Carter, senior pastor at Talatha Baptist Church, officially announced on Thursday at Newberry Hall that he will run for the S.C. House District 86 seat in 2014. That seat is currently occupied by Rep. Bill Taylor, who was first elected in 2010.

Carter joined the United States Navy after college and later became an auto mechanic and heavy equipment operator before getting into the ministry. He has four children and has been married to his wife Shelley for 15 years.

Carter said that, if elected, he would focus on a variety of issues including cutting taxes and fees, reducing the size of state government and fighting the “back door” implementation of the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare, in South Carolina.

Carter said he believes that many of today's politicians have forgotten the definition of compromise, citing the current partial government shutdown. He said he's willing to compromise on many things, but doing so without giving up his principles during the process.

“I've been a pastor now for 15 years, and in being a pastor of smaller churches, you have to learn to work with different personalities. You have to learn to work from different points of view,” Carter said. “But, in saying that, you have to stay true to your core principles, your core convictions, which means that there are some things worth fighting about but also things not worth fighting about. You must rely on wisdom and a lot of prayer (to know) what's worth fighting about and what's not worth fighting about.”

Carter said he believes in term limits and supports the FairTax. He added that education in the state needs to seriously be addressed, stating that Common Core standards are “no good” for South Carolina schools.

Carter ended his announcement by saying that it's time to remind politicians that they work for the citizens.

“I'm not going to Columbia to make friends, but to do what's right for the citizens,” Carter said.

A meet and greet will be held Saturday at 877 Sycamore Drive in Aiken from 4 to 6 p.m. To RSVP, call 803-642-9668 or email nancyboykin@gforcecable.com.

For more information, visit www.KevinCarterSC.com.

Amy Banton is the County reporter for the Aiken Standard.