This is the second in a series of posts that highlight our elected officials and candidates, focusing on what drove them to public service. Hopefully, their stories will help inspire YOU to make a difference and help turn South Carolina Blue!
We recently spoke with State Senator Floyd Nicholson about his career as a public servant, a legacy that spans over 35 years! Since his first campaign for Greenwood City Council in 1982, he has never lost an election. We wanted to understand his motivation to run for public office and what’s driven him towards a life of civil service for these many decades.
You are a lifelong resident of Greenwood, correct?
Yes. I was born, raised, and aside from time in college, I’ve lived in Greenwood, SC. I was the youngest of ten children in an impoverished neighborhood. My father passed away when I was only five years old and my mother did everything she could to raise us. Some of my siblings had to dropout of school to support the family.
After I graduated from South Carolina State, I returned to Greenwood and started a career in education and coaching right here at Greenwood High School.
Was there a tipping point that drove you run for City Council in 1982?
When I was a student at South Carolina State University, I was there at the Orangeburg Massacre. In 1968, a “No Blacks Allowed” policy at a local bowling alley led to a protest on campus against racial segregation. Three young men were killed by SC Highway Patrol officers that night.
Anger from that event stayed with with me throughout the 70’s during my years as a Biology and Science teacher at Greenwood High School. But then, with the support of my wife, Mamie, I decided to turn that negative energy into something positive and ran for Greenwood City Council. I had to get involved in something to try to make a difference.