The State asked questions of all seven candidates for S.C. governor, starting with Democratic candidates and following up with Republican candidates. This is the first. Links to all the questions and responses will be added here and to each future installment.
QUESTION: Voters say job creation is their No. 1 concern. How will you help this state create more jobs?
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Charleston Sen. Robert Ford
ANSWER: I am the senator who solved the Confederate flag debate. I am responsible for the racial climate in this state that is allowing companies such as Boeing, which is in my district, to come to South Carolina. We are now getting contractors and vendors involved, and thousands of jobs will be created. We need a governor who can open South Carolina to the world. My South Carolina the Beautiful plan to capitalize on the film industry here could create 100,000 jobs. By bringing back gaming to South Carolina — video poker and casino gaming in Myrtle Beach — we could hire 10,000 new teachers and bring the student-teacher ratio down to 15-1.
State Schools Superintendent Jim Rex
ANSWER: Creating jobs starts with putting our hard-working people first and preserving the natural resources and quality of life that can attract new employers and capital investment. Governors Campbell and Riley worked hard to attract new businesses to the state, bringing investments, jobs and training programs to develop a skilled labor force. Recently we’ve been in the news for public embarrassment, not ambassadorship. I will turn that around, restoring pride and dignity to our state, ensuring that business leaders across the country and around the world know that South Carolina is a sound investment with a beautiful environment, welcoming people, great quality of life and an educational system on the move.
Sen. Vincent Sheheen
ANSWER: During the first six months of our administration, I will travel to each county with my top economic advisers to assess the challenges and the assets of each community so that we can have a coherent and aggressive economic development strategy. Our next governor must understand that small business creates the majority of jobs in our state. A division of Small Business and Entrepreneurship in the Department of Commerce must be created to assist and promote small business growth. Comprehensive tax reform is needed so that our tax burden is not unfairly placed upon small businesses. We must focus on growing niche economies like health care and bio-fuels.