HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — There are 54 days until Congressman-elect Russell Fry (R) takes over as South Carolina’s 7th District representative in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Fry defeated incumbent Tom Rice (R) in the Republican primary in a crowded field without needing a runoff and then beat Democrat Daryl Scott in the general election with nearly two-thirds of the vote.
Fry believes his time serving in the South Carolina state house will help smoothen the transition despite a different set of rules.
“Understanding what makes things tick in certain committees, or how to move a piece of legislation to the floor, those are all things that are on my mind,” Fry said.
CBS News projects the House leans Republican while the Senate is still a toss-up. Without the forecast nationwide “Red Wave,” Fry said conservatives in Washington have to stick together and stand behind former President Donald Trump as leader of the Republican Party.
“I think we splinter off all the time sometimes, and it’s frustrating to see that happen to our side, so being unified is very important moving forward in the next Congress,” Fry said.
Fry, who received Trump’s endorsement this campaign season, said he’d support the former president in a White House bid in 2024.
Fry’s top issue heading into office is the economy and inflation. Government data released Thursday shows year-over-year inflation in the U.S. for the month of October at 7.7%. That’s down slightly from the 8.2% increase in the month of September. Fry said October’s metric is still too high.
“We can’t continue to print our way to prosperity,” Fry said. “We really need to focus on that and get that debt, that out of control spending, under control.”
Fry backs increasing security at the southern border. He also supports re-instating a Trump-era immigration policy discontinued by the Biden Administration.
The Biden White House has said construction of parts of a 52-mile stretch of border wall cost American taxpayers up to $46 million per mile. The administration also set aside roughly $3 billion toward the border wall in the budget last fiscal year.
“This touches on so many things,” Fry said. “The fentanyl issue being one of them. We have to finish building the wall. We have to beef up our border security. The ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy was a great success. We need to return to that.”
In South Carolina, proposed Interstate 73 would connect much of the 7th District from Marlboro County to Horry County. The estimated $2.3 billion project sits stalled, however, without key funding.
Fry supports building the interstate and said it would benefit the entire region beyond business.
“Not only is [Interstate 73] an economic driver for local residents and recruits jobs into an area, I think that’s incredibly important, but in the face of hurricanes like we just saw in Florida, it allows people to leave in a very expedited way,” Fry said.
Freshman orientation begins next week. It lasts two weeks with a break for Thanksgiving.
Fry will be sworn into office Jan. 3, 2023. He does not plan to move his family to Washington, D.C.