“It is now reported that the current lieutenant governor has resigned his post. This triggers a succession by which the president pro tempore of the South Carolina Senate then becomes lieutenant governor.
“After much thought, prayer and discussion, I have decided that I have a moral obligation to my oath of office and to the Constitution of this state. It is an obligation that compels me to do the right thing no matter how difficult it may be to me personally.
“The oath of office is a short statement where one swears to discharge specific duties. It is a clear and unambiguous statement of what is expected of an officeholder. During my entire political career, I have been against those who would twist and manipulate the Constitution for their personal or political gain. Our state and nation suffer because of those who do not take their oaths seriously and treat our constitutions as simply a means to an end.
“My entire political career, I have fought to uphold the Constitution, and I will not stop today no matter how difficult it may be to me personally. lt is more important that I exercise the duties of the office for which I have been elected and uphold my oath. I will not contort the words of both the Constitution and my oath of office to keep a position that I might personally prefer.
“The people of South Carolina speak through their Constitution as to both the grant and limitations on power. The Constitution intends that the president pro tempore of the Senate step up when a permanent vacancy in the office of lieutenant governor occurs. That is a duty of the office of the president pro tempore. I will carry out the Constitution as I swore to do in accordance with the language as written. Therefore, I am vacating my Senate seat when I assume the office of lieutenant governor by taking the oath of office.
“This has been one of the most difficult decisions I have faced. The greatest honor of my career has been representing the people of District 41 in the South Carolina Senate. But I came here with a deep commitment to the Constitution, and I will not abandon it today.”
‘We look forward to a great partnership’
“We look forward to a great partnership with Senator McConnell and to continuing the great progress we’ve made in the arena of jobs and economic development as well as restructuring our government to better serve the citizens.”