R. Jackson Cooper formally announces his candidacy for Second Circuit solicitor, whose office prosecutes criminal cases in Aiken, Barnwell and Bamberg Counties.
Cooper will run in the June 9 primary, where he will seek the Republican Party nomination.
A native of Williston, Cooper graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and again from the School of Law in 2016 with a Juris Doctor. He then served as assistant solicitor to the Hon. J. Strom Thurmond Jr. from 2016 to 2019, where he prosecuted general sessions cases in Barnwell and Bamberg counties. He currently works in the Office of General Counsel for Savannah River Nuclear Solutions LLC in Aiken.
While an assistant solicitor, Cooper prosecuted hundreds of cases, including murders. In 2019, he successfully tried a trafficking methamphetamine case, as well as two burglary cases, one of which led to a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.
“I am eager to take on this opportunity to serve my area, and I can best do that by seeking justice for those who need it most in my community. My role as assistant solicitor taught me the realm of criminal prosecution, and my current position has taught me how to effectively administrate an office,” Cooper said.
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Cooper is an active member of Mount Calvary Baptist Church, where he teaches Sunday school and serves on the By-Laws Committee, Nominating Committee and Harvest Day Committee. He is chairman of the Salkehatchie Ducks Unlimited chapter, which encompasses Barnwell and Bamberg counties. Cooper is also a decade-long member of Harmony Lodge No. 17 AFM, located in Barnwell.
“My roles in this community have proven that I’m dedicated, have a strong work ethic and care about what goes on. I plan on bringing those attributes to the office of solicitor here in the Second Circuit,” Cooper said.
Even as an early contender, Cooper has garnered support from local law enforcement.
“I’m proud to support Jackson Cooper’s campaign for solicitor. Cooper’s career as assistant solicitor has proven that he is tough on violent crime and drug trafficking in the Second Circuit,” said Bamberg Police Chief James Smoak.
“Jackson Cooper successfully prosecuted a first-degree burglary from our precinct, which led to a life without parole sentence. We’re confident in his ability to be Solicitor and the Denmark Police Department stands with him,” said Denmark Police Chief Leroy Grimes.
“I support Jackson Cooper in his bid for office of the solicitor of the Second Judicial Circuit. I think his tough stance on prosecuting drug traffickers, gang members and those who commit violent crimes will greatly help reduce crime and benefit our citizens immensely. I proudly endorse Jackson Cooper for solicitor,” said Salley Police Chief Jarrod Goldman.