Christina Neese and Denise Becker

Mike Neese’s wife, Christina, left, and friend Denise Becker show their support for the winner of the GOP primary for the S.C. House District 44 seat on Tuesday night at Red Rocks Cafe in Indian Land.

Indian Land resident Mike Neese has cleared one hurdle, but still needs to clear another to become the first representative for the S.C. House District 44 seat.

Neese beat Solomon Goldiamond 55% to 45% in the Republican Party primary Tuesday, June 14. Neese got 1,950 votes and Goldiamond got 1,572.

He will now face Democrat Katie Crosby and Independence Party candidate Aaron McKinney in November’s general election.

The S.C. House District 44 seat is a newly created one for the Indian Land area and Neese is looking to be its first representative.

“We are excited,” Neese said. “From day one, we said this is about being a voice for Indian Land. We went in with a focused message. We are excited to come out on top and our message was able to prevail to the voters.”

Neese has been living in Indian Land for about 20 years and is heavily involved in the business community as CEO of the Greater Indian Land Chamber of Commerce.

He has electoral experience in running for office. In 2020, he ran for State Senate District 16, but fell in the primary.

“We are excited that everybody came together and we were able to win this primary,” Neese said. “It is time to relax and recharge the batteries and get ready for November.”

Neese said he believes his work in the community over nearly two decades helped his campaign efforts.

“We really did a grassroots effort on that,” he said. “It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years to develop those relationships with schools, churches, businesses and people of the community. All that I have been involved with helped.”

Despite the loss, Goldiamond said he was proud of the effort from his camp and felt good about his rookie campaign. Goldiamond is fairly new to the Panhandle, since moving here in 2020.

“Obviously, I wanted to win,” he said. “For a first-time showing, for not having the money and the support and the coordination I would like to have, for getting started as late as we did, we came really, really close. I believe all things happen for a reason. Indian Land made their decision and I respect that.”

Goldiamond said he would continue to work and help out around the Panhandle community.

“We weren’t able to get our name out and campaign the way we wanted to,” he said. “We weren’t able to get our message out the way we wanted to. Not having the time and experience, if we had that, we would have won. We ran a great campaign. I am proud of the area and the fact that we kept it civil and respectful.”

Follow Mac Banks on Twitter @MacBanksFM or contact him at 803-339-6867.

Follow Mac Banks on Twitter @MacBanksFM or contact him at 803-339-6867.

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