New DHEC chief confirmed
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has a new director after more than six months of searching.
Catherine Heigel, a former Duke Energy executive, was confirmed Thursday by the state Senate in a decision that was expected. Heigel becomes DHEC director immediately, the agency said in a news release.
The DHEC board nominated Heigel in April after its first choice, Eleanor Kitzman, ran into trouble over her lack of experience and close ties to Gov. Nikki Haley. Unlike Kitzman, Heigel was chosen by the board after a national search for candidates.
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"I'm honored and grateful to be entrusted with leading an agency that oversees issues that are important to and impact the lives of all South Carolinians," Heigel said in a news release.
Heigel succeeds Catherine Templeton, who quit in January after telling DHEC’s board she planned to leave last fall.
Heigel, 44, has a background in environmental matters as a lawyer for Duke Energy and, later, its chief executive for South Carolina from 2010-2012. Heigel, a Darlington County native, lives in Greenville. She will paid $154,879 a year as DHEC director. The agency one of the state’s largest — with 3,417 employees.
Graham’s 2016 finance team includes billionaires, CEOs
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham announced his national finance committee Thursday for his 2016 presidential campaign, includes billionaires Ronald Perelman and Anita Zucker and the chief executives of General Electric and Oracle.
The Seneca Republican announced his candidacy Monday.
“Lindsey Graham understands America’s leadership role in promoting an enduring peace on the global landscape,” said Perelman, chief executive of MacAndrews & Forbes. “With conflicts raging in the Middle East and around the world that threaten the security of America and our allies, we need leaders with strategic purpose and moral clarity to confront these crises.”
Jeff Immelt, chief executive of General Electric, said: “Only Lindsey Graham has shown he has the ability and commitment to provide the kind of leadership that will allow us to overcome our nation’s challenges.”
David Wilkins, a former S.C. House speaker and U.S. ambassador to Canada, is Graham’s national finance chairman.
Graham faces an uphill battle to win the GOP nomination. He is polling at the back of the GOP field nationally and in the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Graham is doing better in South Carolina, where he has polled third.
Huckabee to attend Scott town-hall meeting
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott will hold a town-hall meeting with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a 2016 GOP presidential candidate, in Anderson next month.
U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-Spartanburg, will be a guest at the July 6 event at the Anderson Civic Center.
The Huckabee event is the first of what Scott, R-North Charleston, is calling “Tim’s Town Halls.” Scott, a popular S.C. politician, plans more town halls with 2016 GOP candidates as they work to build support in the early presidential primary state.
Sammy Fretwell, Andrew Shain