Ed Sutton is a small business owner, a decorated veteran, and a Lowcountry family man. He is running to represent his Lowcountry neighbors in the State Legislature, putting his sterling leadership credentials, deep South Carolina roots, and fierce passion for civic engagement to work for the Palmetto State that raised him. 

Ed grew up about 40 minutes outside Columbia in the small town of Gilbert. It was country living, with plenty of peach farms and families who knew each other. As a boy, Ed basked in the natural beauty of the Midlands, fishing and boating on nearby Lake Murray. But by 15, he was ready to get to work. With his parents’ permission, he took a job at the local Chick-Fil-A. By senior year at Gilbert High, Ed had worked his way up to assistant manager—an early example of his long-held belief in the power of humility and hard work.

After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Ed felt a call to serve his country. The only college he applied to was The Citadel, because he’d heard it was the toughest military school one could attend. He was 18 in 2002, when he arrived in Charleston to enroll at this legendarily rigorous institution. Even while toughing it out as a Citadel “knob” (freshman), Ed quickly fell in love with the Holy City. 

As a scholar in the school’s elite business program, he threw himself into his studies, notching seven semesters on the dean’s list. In four years, Ed earned an Air Force scholarship, was elected Governor of the South Carolina Student Legislature, and selected for The Citadel’s prestigious Summerall Guards. The Citadel taught him the importance of leadership and living with honor: to one’s self, commitments, and community. 

After graduation, Ed was commissioned as an Air Force Officer and took on his next challenge, pilot training. The assignment took him away from the Lowcountry, but he was soon able to return to the city he loved as a C-17 aviator stationed at Joint Base Charleston. His first mission in 2008 sent him straight to Afghanistan, where he flew resupply and airdrop missions for American troops fighting the Taliban. In 2012, after two deployments, a promotion to Captain and instructor pilot, Ed volunteered for an exchange tour with the Army and was assigned to the legendary 101st Airborne Division. 

Before he left town to train with the Army, though, luck—and love—would strike for Ed. He met a young career woman, Aimee Zborowski,  the “old-fashioned” way (they were introduced by friends.) Ed was quickly smitten and the day before he shipped out for his third deployment, Ed proposed. (Aimee said yes!) Then it was back to Afghanistan, where he coordinated resupply efforts from forward operating positions on the ground for much of 2013. It put Ed closer to immediate danger than he’d ever been in the cockpit, but knew the work he was doing was critical, and he served his country selflessly. 

In 2014, Ed became an Air Force Reservist and returned once again to Charleston. Between the Reserves and building a life with Aimee and their boxer mix Walter, he went to work as a realtor, helping military families in the Lowcountry find good homes at honest prices. In 2017, he launched his own small business, a development company focused on creating commercial opportunities in North Charleston. His experience overseas taught him the importance of being a long-term, reliable partner to communities in need, so he set up shop on Reynolds Avenue, founding the Reynolds Avenue Merchants Association, and joined several community advocacy organizations. He learned first-hand the power of citizens who come together to make their voices heard.

Ed is running for State Representative because his life-learned values—honesty, service, hard work, vision—have convinced him that District 114 and South Carolina deserve better than the status quo. He and Aimee have put down roots in West Ashley, and their first son, Tripp, arrived November 2019. Leading the Lowcountry to a brighter, more resilient future isn’t a political slogan for Sutton—it’s a personal mission. And as always, he’s ready to serve.

Ed Sutton is a member of the Air Force Reserve. Use of Ed Sutton’s military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Department of the Air Force or the Department of Defense