State Senator Nikki Setzler, who has dedicated an impressive 47 years of his life to public service, has officially declared that he will not seek reelection in 2024. Setzler, representing South Carolina’s District 26, has held his Senate seat since 1976, making him the longest-currently-serving state senator in the country.
In 2023, Setzler received well-deserved recognition for his long and distinguished career when he was honored with a Senate resolution. His commitment to the people of South Carolina has left an indelible mark on the state’s political landscape.
In an opinion piece published in The State newspaper, Setzler expressed gratitude to the constituents who had faith in him over the years. He stated, “Serving the people of South Carolina has been the honor of a lifetime. Thank you for your faith in me, for the opportunity to serve you, and for taking this journey with me.”
Senator Setzler’s impact extended beyond party lines. Despite residing in Lexington County, a traditionally Republican stronghold, Setzler, a Democrat, repeatedly secured reelection, showcasing his ability to connect with voters and effectively represent their interests.
The recent redistricting following the 2020 U.S. Census added an interesting twist to the political landscape. Sen. Dick Harpootlian, a resident of Richland County, now finds himself residing in the same district as Setzler. Harpootlian, with his own extensive political background, is set to navigate the unique dynamics of the newly configured district.
As Setzler concludes this chapter of his political journey, the Cayce-West Columbia area, along with Aiken, Calhoun, Lexington, and Saluda Counties, will bid farewell to a dedicated public servant. The impact of Setzler’s legacy will undoubtedly be felt for years to come, as the community reflects on the changes and challenges that have defined his tenure in office. The upcoming election will mark a significant turning point for District 26 as it prepares to welcome new leadership and navigate the evolving political landscape.