A collection of remarks and remembrances about former S.C. Gov. James Edwards, who passed away Friday at age 87:
Glenn McConnell, president of College of Charleston and former S.C. Senate president pro tempore: “As an alumnus of our institution, Gov. Edwards represents the best traits of a College of Charleston education: leadership and a passion for lifelong learning. On a personal note, Gov. Edwards was a mentor and a dear friend to me. He helped launch my career in public service and inspired me, through his tireless and selfless efforts, on how to best serve the people of South Carolina. In every facet of his life, he believed in making things better for others.”
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-Seneca: “He was truly one of the most decent men to have ever served as governor of South Carolina. He was a pioneer for the Republican Party and continued to stay involved in party building activities throughout his life.”
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-North Charleston: "Jim was an early mentor of mine as I entered public service, and I am forever thankful for his advice and encouragement. From the dedication of Patriot's Point during his time as governor to his efforts expanding MUSC while serving as president, Gov. Edwards has left an important legacy in our state.”
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U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-Springdale: “Dr. Edwards was a tireless stalwart for conservative limited government to expand freedom. In high school, I would visit his dental office for Goldwater materials, in his capacity as Charleston County Republican Chairman. ... Dr. Edwards’ vision of an inclusive Republican Party came to fulfillment this month with the U.S. Senate victory in Louisiana, from his start with no elected statewide Republican officials in the five-state Deep South, and now all statewide officials are Republicans.”
Medical University of South Carolina President David Cole: “With his leadership and vision MUSC started to transform and grow in scope, scale, and quality. As an individual he was universally liked and respected — he had a personality that filled the room — truly he never met anyone that he did not like. I had the privilege of joining the faculty as an assistant professor of surgery in 1994, and from day one he made me feel respected, included, and at times like I quite possibly was his long lost younger brother.”
S.C. Senate President Pro Tempore Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence: "A Palmetto gentleman who sought only the best solutions for his community, state, and nation. I know that the entire Senate of South Carolina joins me in sending our deepest condolences to the Edwards family. The Medical University of South Carolina, South Carolina, and the United States are a better place because of his leadership."
S.C. Republican Party Chairman Matt Moore: “Gov. Edwards made an incredible mark on South Carolina history. His legacy will live on through the countless lives he touched as governor, dentist and particularly as a man of faith.”
Former congressman and federal judge John Napier: "Jim Edwards was a giant force for good in everything he ever did. A mentor and creator of the modern Republican Party. Pam and I express our deepest sympathy to Anne and the family."
Rusty DePass, campaign manager of Edwards’ 1974 gubernatorial win: “He was laid back, easygoing. He was opinionated, but he did not have a hard edge to him and didn't have a mean bone in his body. And he was the same person in private as he was in public."