On February 2, the St. Andrews Optimists were honored to welcome South Carolina State Representative Chris Wooten as their guest speaker. Representing House District 69, which covers the town of Lexington and a significant section of the County, Wooten engaged the audience with his insights and priorities.
A Marine veteran, Wooten, who humorously noted the Marine Corps’ mantra that there are no “former Marines,” only perpetual ones, has a background as a South Carolina State Trooper. He shared experiences from his service, including working on the Presidential Protection Detail for Presidents Reagan and Bush in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
During the presentation, Wooten highlighted key areas of emphasis for 2023, including school choice, child safety, and “active shooter” education and preparedness, acknowledging the unfortunate necessity of such training in the current environment. South Carolina’s in-depth study of the issue was recognized as a leading initiative.
Looking ahead to legislative focus in 2024, Representative Wooten outlined several issues, such as outlawing gender-changing surgeries for youth under 18, reducing access to pornography for the same age group, streamlining business operations by minimizing “red tape” barriers, and advocating for teacher pay improvements.
The session concluded with an interactive Q&A session, allowing Optimist members to engage further with Representative Wooten. The meeting concluded with Wooten reciting his personal mission statement, guiding his approach to his governmental role and life’s work.
In the photo, Club President Kerry Powers presents Representative Chris Wooten with a copy of the Optimist Creed.