Micah Caskey and Rosemounda Peggy Butler are seeking the House District 89 seat in Lexington County that is being vacated by Rep. Kenny Bingham. The State’s editorial board sent questionnaires to both candidates. Mr. Caskey’s responses are below.
Year of birth: 1981
Political party: Republican
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Position you are seeking: SC House of Representatives
Please limit your response to each of the following questions to about 100 words.
1. What makes you the most qualified person to hold this position? (Be specific.)
• My diverse range of professional experiences, formal education, and individual personality traits, best qualify me to represent House District 89. I grew up working in my family’s small business, I’ve worked for Fortune 100 companies, I’ve served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and I’ve served as an Assistant Solicitor. I earned my law degree and my International Master of Business Administration (IMBA) degrees from the University of South Carolina – the latter coming from the Darla Moore Business School’s flagship program. I am a person that is fair, rational, and thoughtful. I believe ideas should be evaluated on their merits.
2. What will be your top three priorities if you are elected? (100 words for each issue)
• “Find the bathroom.” The lawmaking process is complex. The truth is that any candidate genuinely interested in being an effective legislator has a lot to learn. I’m not afraid to say that I have a lot to learn and getting up to speed is my top priority. I studied the legislative process in law school and I’ve worked in the State House, so I have a bit of a head-start, but I think it’s critical for me to be honest with people: I simply don’t know enough about the legislative process, yet, and fixing that is my top priority. I will work tirelessly to learn the system inside-and-out.
• Roads. I believe a top priority of the House must be to be pass a meaningful and sustainable roads bill that delivers improved returns on the investments that taxpayers have made in SCDOT. Since 2009, the total funds SCDOT budget has exploded from $900M/year to $1.6B/year. The appropriate long-term funding mechanism question must surely be addressed, and I look forward to that debate, but I approach this issue wanting to ensure that the people of South Carolina get their money’s worth. Throwing enough money at a problem will almost always help get some result, I want to ensure that we also get enough result.
• Addressing the SC Pension Fund. First of all, we have to honor our commitments to the participants in our state’s retirement system. We cannot lose sight of that. Second, as outlined in Legislative Audit Council reports and several recent news stories, this system is a ticking time-bomb of debt. We have to solve this problem. To do otherwise shifts the responsibility onto all taxpayers. We cannot keep ‘passing the buck’ to future generations. It’s time to tackle this problem. I understand enough about investment management, actuarial principles, and sound accounting practices, to help address this monumental challenge.
3a.For non-incumbents: How would your approach to your job differ from the incumbent’s?
• In many ways, my approach to the job will be similar to Rep. Kenny Bingham’s approach. I share Rep. Bingham’s disposition toward rational, thoughtful analysis of issues presented. Likewise, I expect that I will be at least as equally committed to diligent preparation in all matters. I will also be as honest and forthcoming with constituents in addressing their questions and concerns. I think constituents can expect robust communications from me, in whatever form is most appropriate for the circumstance (e.g., social media, website, postal mail).
4. Describe at least one significant political position you hold that demonstrates your willingness to work across party lines even if that’s at odds with your political base.
• Environmental stewardship – I resolutely believe in the responsible stewardship of our state’s natural resources. We cannot allow special interests to destroy, or render unusable, natural resources that are integral to life. For example, as outlined in several articles by The State, pollution by a private company into the Saluda River stole our ability to enjoy that resource and threatened to infect citizens with things like E. Coli bacteria. I reject the notion that responsible environmental stewardship is at odds with economic growth -- in fact, I take the position that anything other than responsible environmental stewardship is critical to economic growth.
5. Have you ever been convicted of a crime, been disciplined by a professional licensing board or organization or had an ethics complaint filed against you? If so, please give the details.
6. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy or been delinquent on your federal, state or local taxes? If so, please give the details.
7. Are there any personal details about you that voters would be interested in knowing?
• Eagle Scout
Number of years living in the district you seek to represent:
Family (name of spouse, number and ages of children if at home, number of grown children):
• Single, no children
• J.D., University of South Carolina
• International M.B.A., University of South Carolina
• B.A., University of Florida
• 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office
Employment, military and volunteer history:
• Assistant Solicitor, 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, 2014-Present
• Project Manager, RLG International [management consulting to Fortune 500s], 2012-2014
• Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, 2003-2013
o Combat deployments to Iraq: 2004 & 2006
o Combat deployment to Afghanistan: 2009
o Reservist status: 2007-08, 2010-2013
Please list all public offices to which you’ve been elected, when and where:
Please list year and office of any unsuccessful runs for public office:
Other political and government experience:
Key endorsements you’ve received:
• Conservation Voters of SC