A Mount Pleasant Democrat who ran unsucessfully for Congress in 2010 is studying whether to enter the race to succeed Rep. Tim Scott.
Robert Burton, a retired Air Force colonel and a commercial airline pilot, says his resume makes him uniquely qualified to serve South Carolina's First District in Washington, D.C.
"Our next congressman will be required to make difficult budget decisions about our military," Burton said. "I am not convinced that any of the declared candidates, Democrat or Republican, are knowledgeable enough about the military to make informed decisions about those cuts, based on their personal experience."
"I am carefuly evaluating the candidates and will make my decision whether or not to run based on my belief in their ability to keep the country safe," he said.
Burton served 10 years as a pilot and commander in the U.S. Air Force and then led a 22-year career in the Air Force Reserve. He now pilots international flights for Delta Airlines.
In 2010, Burton finished second to Ben Frazier in the Democratic Primary with 44 percent of the vote. Tim Scott bested Frazier 65 percent to 29 percent in the general election.
Scott was re-elected in 2012, defeating Democrat Bobbie Rose 62 percent to 36 percent. Scott's term in Congress ended Thursday when he was sworn in to the U.S. Senate to fill the seat of Jim DeMint, who announced his resignation in December to run the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation.
The First District stretches along much of the South Carolina coast.* Though it includes Democratic strongholds such as Charleston and North Charleston, no Democrat has held the seat since 1981.
* - The article has been corrected to properly reflect the geography of the First District.