The Chamber of Commerce is playing it safe — which doesn’t mean they’re not right about some of these endorsements:
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce PAC, which supports pro-jobs candidates for the General Assembly, today endorsed 15 members of the S.C. House of Representatives who are running for re-election.
Each Chamber PAC-endorsed candidate has joined the business community in the fight to make South Carolina the most competitive state in the nation for business development.
“The business community is proud to announce its support for these House members,” said Chamber President and CEO Ted Pitts. “They have strengthened our workforce, delivered tax relief, invested in our infrastructure and reduced the regulatory burden – and, when they are re-elected, we look forward to working with them to keep South Carolina on the move.”
The following House members have earned the business community’s support in June’s primary elections based on their performance on the S.C. Chamber of Commerce’s annual legislative scorecard.
- State Rep. Nathan Ballentine (District 71, Richland and Lexington Counties)
- State Rep. Micah Caskey (District 89, Lexington County)
- State Rep. Sylleste Davis (District 100, Berkeley Country)
- State Rep. Greg Duckworth (District 104, Horry County)
- State Rep. Craig Gagnon (District 11, Abbeville and Anderson Counties)
- State Rep. Jackie Hayes (District 55, Darlington, Dillon, Horry and Marlboro Counties)
- State Rep. Phyllis Henderson (District 21, Greenville Country)
- State Rep. Joe McEachern (District 77, Richland County)
- State Rep. Samuel Rivers (District 15, Berkley and Charleston Counties)
- State Rep. Mike Sottile (District 112, Charleston County)
- State Rep. Kit Spires (District 96, Lexington County)
- State Rep. Eddie Tallon (District 33, Spartanburg County)
- State Rep. Jay West (District, Abbeville and Anderson County)
- State Rep. Brian White (District 6, Anderson County)
- State Rep. Ronnie Young (District 84, Aiken County)
At this point, Doug or someone is bursting with indignation at the idea of endorsing all these incumbents! Understandable.
Although the ones with whom I’m most familiar — Nathan Ballentine and Micah Caskey, for instance — are ones I’d pick, too. And if I knew more, I’d likely back quite a few of the others, too.
Unfortunately, our parties have become so corrupted by our system of reapportionment that incumbents seldom, if ever, draw primary opposition that a sensible person would seriously consider. Challengers tend to be extremists trying to pull their respective parties even farther from the sensible center, perpetual candidates who time and time again have been rejected by the voters.
The latter is the case with Micah Caskey, for instance. I forget how many times Billy Oswald has run in the past — sometimes as a Democrat, sometimes as a Republican. If I recall correctly from meeting him long ago, he’s a nice guy (and I have no reason to believe he’s involved with this perfidy), but voters have repeatedly rejected him. And I see no reason they should change their minds after the strong freshman performance Micah has turned in.
In fact, he’s done such a good job that even if he had really strong opposition — such as, say, Tem Miles, whom Micah faced last time — I’d definitely be for giving Micah another term. He’s more than earned it, and I expect more good things from him.
All of that said, there must be SOME incumbents the Chamber doesn’t want to see re-elected. But being the Chamber and therefore risk-averse, those folks aren’t being listed. Because, you know, then the Chamber would be making enemies among folks who will likely be re-elected anyway.
I’d sort of like to see the other list, the one whose existence this one implies: In other words, the incumbents whom the Chamber didn’t endorse despite their having primary opposition. That list would be interesting. I might see if I can infer who those folks are if I get some time later….