By Barney Blakeney
Deon Tedder is the only attorney among the candidates seeking election to the S.C. House Dist. 109 seat. At age 30, he also is the only candidate for the seat who, in addition to his youthful energy, brings legislative experience to the race.
Though he was born in Durham, North Carolina, Tedder says he became a man and a professional in South Carolina. A graduate of South Carolina State University which he attended on a full scholarship, Tedder came to the state at age 18. Persistent and dedicated, he had wanted to become an attorney since childhood. He went on to attend the University Of South Carolina School Of Law and graduated with a law degree in 2015.
While at SCSU after his freshman year, Tedder worked as an unpaid intern in the office of the late U.S. Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy where he assisted on the Health, Education, and Labor & Pension (HELP) Committee. His work ethic earned him the next summer, a paid internship at the Department of Energy. As a law student at the University of South Carolina School of Law, he advocated for the underserved by serving as a Guardian Ad Litem for Richland County’s Court Appointed Special Advocates Program (CASA). He served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable L. Casey Manning in Columbia.
Tedder has spent much of his life in public service. He represented indigent clients in courtroom proceedings in Magistrate Court through the University of South Carolina’s Criminal Law Practice Clinic. His service as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable L. Casey Manning allowed him to gain a unique understanding of legal matters from both sides of the aisle.
“It’s time for a new generation of leadership,” Tedder says. “I’m passionate about advocating for people and will be a voice for the voiceless. It’s what I’ve always done and what I do every day in my job.” He was a trumpet player in the SCSU Marching 101 band and trumpeted the causes of students as a SCSU student government officer. “I think it’s important that we have lawyers in the legislature representing our community – people who will listen and find solutions, but also who are professionals who know the jargon and can navigate through the hidden agendas.”
Tedder is a member of the American Bar Association, South Carolina Bar Association, Charleston County Bar Association and South Carolina Black Lawyers Association. Tedder started his professional career as an attorney in Charleston in 2017. He joined David Aylor Law Offices as an attorney in June 2018. His main area of practice is Personal Injury and Criminal Defense.
He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He is active in the community and has volunteered for several political campaigns including those of Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and State Rep. Marvin Pendarvis. He also volunteers with Harvest Hope Food Bank and the Be A Mentor program.
He recently was recognized by the National Black Lawyers Association among the Top 40 under 40 Personal Injury attorneys. In addition to his legal work, Tedder also is active in the community. He regularly volunteers to read and speak at local public schools, and has been involved in the Be A Mentor program for years.
Tedder feels his knowledge, experience and his commitment to accessibility, visibility and keeping constituents informed make him the right choice to represent House Dist. 109. Among his top priorities are education, criminal justice reform, economic justice, access to quality healthcare and affordable housing.
“We need informed people to represent us in the legislature who will bring information back to the people,” he said. “I have demonstrated perseverance, commitment and ability that I know will benefit the constituents of House Dist. 109.”