NGU Grad Elected State's Youngest House Representative

Josh Putnam (’11) defeated Dave Ballard for the SC House District 10 seat Tuesday night. He will become the youngest representative in the state.

Putnam, a Republican, defeated Constitution Party candidate Ballard with 83 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results.

This is the 22-year-old’s first political office.

“We’re very happy,” Putnam said. “This is a great feeling. We’ve been campaigning all summer.”

The special election filled a vacant seat held by Dan Cooper, who resigned in April after representing the district for 20 years. Putnam won three elections, which included a Republican primary, a runoff, and the final election held Tuesday.

“I want to tell voters that I am deeply thankful to them coming out three times,” Putnam said. “It’s hard enough to get people to turn out once, but they turned out three times for us.”

District 10 covers parts of Williamston, Powdersville, and Piedmont.

Both Ballard and Putnam ran for the seat in 2010, but failed to beat Cooper.

Putnam is eight months younger than District 108 Rep. Kevin R. Ryan, the second-youngest house member who represents Charleston and Georgetown counties.

Putnam works as a landscaping supervisor for The Planter’s Touch in Greenville. He began working there at 15 years of age. He graduated from NGU with a marketing degree this past May.

What approach he will take to government as a political newcomer, Putnam says that he will soak up the knowledge of his elders.

“I’m going to associate myself with wise men and women in the area,” Putnam said.