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Election Day Tuesday: Know Your Candidates

Posted by: Greenville Chamber on Monday, June 9, 2014
This Tuesday, June 10th is Primary Election Day for South Carolina. Democratic and Republican primaries will be held all day with precincts open from 7 am to 7 pm. Candidates running for the SC House of Representatives will be seeking their party nomination on Tuesday. Primaries will also be held for statewide offices (including Lieutenant Governor, State Treasurer, State Superintendent of Education, Adjutant General, and Commissioner of Agriculture) and our two U.S. Senate seats. You can find out more information about tomorrow’s primary and see a copy of your sample ballot by visiting the SC Election Commission at Even though Gov. Haley is up for re-election this year, there is no primary for the governor’s race. In November, Governor Nikki Haley (Republican) will face Senator Vincent Sheheen (Democratic), Steve French (Libertarian), and Morgan Bruce Reeves (United Citizens). To help you navigate the many races and candidates, we put together a brief synopsis of the candidates for each race below. Information on each candidate came from their respective campaign website. LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MIKE CAMPBELL (R) - Campbell is a Columbia-based business owner and ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2006. He also served as Governor Mark Sanford's Vice Chairman of the Governing Board of the Department of Natural Resources. PAT MCKINNEY (R) - Pat McKinney campaign is focused on aiming to help the small business community, pushing to reform state government and being a strong advocate for the state’s seniors. HENRY MCMASTER (R) - Henry McMaster is a former Republican Attorney General of South Carolina. He has also previously run for Lieutenant Governor, Governor and U.S. Senate. His top priorities are conservative reform in State government, protecting the state’s seniors, and economic development issues like protecting taxpayers, expanding the economy, and creating new jobs. RAY MOORE (R) - Ray Moore is a pastor and and his platform is based on his conservative principles. Moore’s priority issues are restoring pro-life, pro-family, pro-private, Christian, and home education values, as well as pro-sound money principles, like returning to the gold standard. *The winner of the Republican primary for Lt. Governor will face Democratic candidate Bakari Sellers in the November election. STATE TREASURER CURTIS LOFTIS (R) incumbent - Loftis was elected State Treasurer in 2010 and operates several businesses. During this time in office, Loftis considers some of his most noteworthy accomplishments to be saving $164 million refinancing debt, saving $1.3 million annually by restructuring fees, and conducting the first audit of the State Treasurer’s Office since 1988. He also boasts that he is the only public official in SC and the Nation to publish his full work calendar online. BRIAN ADAMS (R) - As the chief financial officer of the state, Adams hopes to work with the Governor and the General Assembly to find solutions to SC’s fiscal problems, protect investments, and “restore integrity to an office that has lost credibility among financial professionals in South Carolina and across the nation.” He plans to strengthen the retirement system and reduce any potential burdens to taxpayers. SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION MONTRIO BELTON (D) - Belton supports measuring student growth by adding testing at the beginning and end of each school year to see if the child has progressed. SHEILA GALLAGHER (D) - Supports legalizing marijuana as a method of funding the school system. JERRY GOVAN (D) - Govan supports a “bottoms-up” approach to restructuring our schools. TOM THOMPSON (D) - Thompson, a former dean of graduate studies at South Carolina State University, supports prioritizing teachers in rural school districts and the state fully funding the base student cost. SALLY ATWATER (R) - A former teacher that has previously served with the U.S. Department of Education. Atwater has received endorsements from Former President George H. W. Bush, Former SC Governor Jim Edwards, Former Speaker of U.S. House Newt Gingrich, and Greenville Mayor Knox White. GARY BURGESS (R) - Gary Burgess feels that he is uniquely qualified because he is the only candidate who has worked with teachers and communities as a practicing administrator to take schools from the state’s “Worst 100 List” to a National Blue Ribbon ranked school. MEKA CHILDS (R) - Meka Childs has previously served as Deputy Superintendent of Education at the SC Department of Education under Superintendent General Mick Zais from 2011 to 2014. She has also been endorsed by Zais. AMY COFIELD (R) - Amy Cofield is currently an Owner and Managing Partner at Cofield Law Firm. She feels that she is uniquely qualified because she is a teacher, accredited academic, successful practicing attorney, small business owner, community leader, mother and wife. SHERI FEW (R) - Sheri Few currently serve on the Governor’s Commission on Women. Her priority issues will be to stop Common Core and to return truth to textbooks, as she feels that schools are being used as vehicles to force a radical, far-left “progressive” agenda on students. DON JORDAN (R) - Don Jordan is a professor at the University of South Carolina, where he joined the faculty in 1973. He has experience developing and directing student programs and created a program that is devoted to increasing the number of students, especially females and minorities, entering science professions. The program was highlighted in the 1992-93 USC Presidents Annual Report. ELIZABETH MOFFLY (R) - Elizabeth Moffly is a political activist, business owner, and has served on several boards, including the Charleston County School Board and the State Department of Education Board to review Academic Achievement of the States Low Performing Schools. MOLLY SPEARMAN (R) - Molly Spearman is the Executive Director of the SC Association of School Administrators. She was elected to the SC House of Representatives from 1992 to 1998, where she served on the Education Committee and Ways and Means.  She spent nearly 20 years as a teacher and 6 years as Deputy Superintendent for Governmental Relations at the SC State Department of Education. *A primary runoff will likely be held for both parties on June 24th. The winners of the Superintendent of Education primary will face American Party candidate Ed Murray in November. ADJUTANT GENERAL BOB LIVINGSTON (R) incumbent - Livingston has held the position since 2010. During his tenure, the SC National Guard has been rated as one of the top five National Guards in the Nation and traditional Guardsmen unemployment has been reduced from 16 percent to 3 percent. JAMES BREAZEALE (R) - Breazeale feels he is qualified because he has “vital experience in training foreign militaries, in saving taxpayers millions of dollars through creative problem solving.” He is also is a strong advocate of term-limits, and has a pledged his own 4 year term-limit if elected. COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE HUGH E. WEATHERS (R) incumbent - Hugh Weathers has served as Commissioner of Agriculture since 2006. Weathers is also the co-owner of Weathers Farms, Inc., Weathers Trucking, Inc., and Circle W Farms. He considers one of his most significant contributions while in office to be creating the Certified SC Grown branding campaign for SC farm products, which has had a huge impact on SC’s farm economy. JOE FARMER (R) - Farmer’s priority issues are breaking barriers to target markets for local farmers, easing access of school districts to local farm products, and increasing SC’s lumber production. U.S. SENATE TIM SCOTT (R) incumbent - Senator Scott was appointed by Governor Haley in 2012 when the seat was vacated by Jim DeMint. Scott’s priority issues include finding ways to help redevelop our poorest areas, getting our nation’s spending under control, and reforming our taxes to increase economic freedom. RANDALL YOUNG (R) - Young ran unsuccessfully in a special election for South Carolina House of Representatives District 17 in 2013. JOYCE DICKERSON (D) - Dickerson has served on the Richland County Council for more than 9 years and is the first woman from South Carolina to serve as chair of the National Foundation for Women Legislators. SIDNEY MOORE (D) - Moore is a former businessman, customer service representative, and has experience serving on York County Council. HARRY PAVILACK (D) - Pavilack has practiced law for 40 years and has been involved in charity work during many years, including founding the organization Sav-r-Cats . U.S. SENATE LINDSEY GRAHAM (R) incumbent - Graham was elected to the Senate in 2002 and re-elected again in 2008. He is a supporter of our men and women serving in uniform, a leading advocate for cutting spending in Washington, and a strong opponent of Obamacare. He has been endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business and the United States Chamber of Commerce. DET BOWERS (R) - Bowers’ is a preacher and former businessman and attorney. His priority issues are repealing Obamacare and balancing the budget. He is also a strong supporter of setting term limits. LEE BRIGHT (R) - Bright currently serves as a SC State Senator. Bright’s key issues are immigration and tax reform, pro-life policies, upholding the second amendment, and repealing Obamacare. RICHARD CASH (R) - Cash is a businessman from the Upstate. His priority issues are abortion, marriage, judicial activism, national defense, federal spending, jobs, the second amendment, and term limits. BILL CONNOR (R) - Connor is an attorney and Afghanistan war veteran. He has received endorsements from the Conservatives for Responsible Government of SC and the Association of Black Conservatives. BENJAMIN DUNN (R) - Dunn is an attorney and has served as an infantry officer in the South Carolina Army National Guard for over nineteen years. His top three priorities are cutting federal spending, repealing Obamacare, and immigration reform. NANCY MACE (R) - Mace is a PR businesswoman from Charleston. She has received endorsements from the National Association for Gun Rights and the Tea Party Leadership Fund. Her main focus is on protecting Americans’ Constitutional rights, setting term limits, and growing the economy. BRAD HUTTO (D) - Hutto has served in the state Senate from 1996 to the present. His priority issues are jobs and education. He is also especially interested in fixing and modernizing South Carolina’s roads and infrastructure. JAY STAMPER (D) - Stamper is a businessman and has been endorsed by Blue America PAC. Initiatives he supports are Obama’s efforts to raise the minimum wage, the Affordable Care Act, expansion of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security for senior citizens, veterans and the disabled.


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