COLUMBIA, S.C. – Former South Carolina RepublicanParty Chairman Dan Ross of Blackville passed away on Tuesday, April 15, 2008,after suffering a stroke. Ross served as Chairman from 1976 to 1980 andwas instrumental in ushering in a competitive two-party political system inSouth Carolina after years of Democrat dominance. South CarolinaRepublican leaders are remembering Chairman Ross for his dedication andleadership.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of former SouthCarolina Republican Party Chairman Dan Ross, but we are extremely grateful forhis years of service,” said South Carolina Republican Party Chairman KatonDawson. “Chairman Ross was a Republican pioneer who joined Governor JamesB. Edwards, Senator Strom Thurmond and others in laying the conservative foundationin South Carolina on which the Republican Party has been built. Thanks toChairman Ross, our State Party is stronger and more united than ever.”
Chairman Ross was active in Republican politics for manyyears. He managed Dr. James B. Edwards’ successful campaign for governorin 1974. Edwards was the first Republican to be elected Governor of SouthCarolina since Reconstruction.
“First, I want to extend my deepest sympathies to Dan’sfamily and many friends around the state,” said Governor Edwards. “Danwas a born leader. He played a critical role in creating two-partypolitics not just in South Carolina but across the south. A man of greatprinciple and character, Dan believed strongly in America and served hiscountry. I am indebted to him for what he did in his lifetime for mepersonally and for the Republican Party. Dan was on the right side ofevery good cause I have known. This is a great loss for our State.”
As Chairman, Ross played a major role in presidentialpolitics by working with Republicans to make South Carolina’s RepublicanPresidential Preference Primary a reality. The South Carolina RepublicanParty’s First-in-the-South Presidential Primary has grown in significance overtime. Since 1980, no candidate has won the Republican nomination forpresident without winning South Carolina’s Republican primary.
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said, “Dan Ross was a pioneer inthe conservative movement who helped build the modern day Republican Party inSouth Carolina. During his tenure as Chairman of the South CarolinaRepublican Party, he orchestrated the original First-in-the Southpresidential primary that helped put our party on the map. Dan wasinstrumental in transforming South Carolina into a two-party state. Hisvision and leadership will be missed.”
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