In 2017, we’re going to introduce you to your local political leaders — the men and women who have a direct impact on your business every day.
In 2005, Greenville elected political novice Bruce Bannister to the House of Representatives. Three years later, he was elected Assistant Majority Leader of the House, and, in 2012, was elected House Majority Leader. InN 2017, Bannister will head back to the Greenville Delegation suite now that his two terms as Majority Leader have ended (GOP Caucus leaders are term-limited by their Caucus rules.) We sat down with the Greenville representative in his new office to ask him about his next steps.
The best part was meeting all of the people you get to meet that you don’t get to as a “regular” House member. I got to meet legislative leaders from other states, elected officials from across our state, and business leaders. Business leaders start in the Caucus office when they need a change so they can create jobs. Relationships… that was the most fun and the most rewarding.
Reconciling the different viewpoints of the Caucus to come up with a consensus for everyone to get behind. The best example was the (Confederate) flag. The Caucus was split in 4 distinct groups. It was a big challenge keeping the majority moving forward on the issue toward a resolution when you’re the leader of a group that had vastly different viewpoints.
During my four years, we expanded the majority to the highest elected GOP majority in history. We dealt with some very serious problems in a professional way, whether that was the Flag, the flood, or thewe had a hurricane. The Caucus was responsive and responsible on those issues. We governed in a professional way.
It made the Caucus closer as a group since we had to respond to crises we never saw coming. When everyone comes together in response to an event, there is a camaraderie. The investigations took up a lot of time and attention. That put some things on the back burner that we should have dealt with, but couldn’t.
Majority Leader is essentially a statewide office. Now, I get to take the relationships I made and return my focus to Greenville, the I-85 corridor, and the Upstate, which is where my heart really is.
I can only juggle 3, but I can do it well. (Bannister looks around his un-packed office for something to juggle, but couldn’t find anything.)