Politics & Government

Online petition: McMaster should leave all-white country club

A Change.org petition calls on South Carolina's new governor to resign from all-white country club.

The petition calls for Henry McMaster, sworn in Tuesday night as the state’s 117th governor, to resign his longstanding membership at Columbia’s Forest Lake Club.

South Carolina’s “chief leader should not be part of a country club that excludes members because of their skin color,” the petition states. “If McMaster continues his membership with the Forest Lake Club, it will send the message to South Carolinians and our nation that it is ok for discrimination and racism to continue, even in the state's highest elected office.”

McMaster has said he has no plans to resign his membership in the club even after becoming governor.

“The McMaster family has been members of Columbia’s Forest Lake Club for generations,” said Brian Symmes, McMaster’s press secretary. “The club has no policies of racial discrimination. If it did, Governor McMaster would not be a member.”

“As U.S. attorney, attorney general, and lieutenant governor, he has conducted his offices honorably and without discrimination or prejudice of any kind,” Symmes continued. “He will fulfill the duties of governor in a positive manner with a spirit of optimism and inclusion for all the people of South Carolina.”

The former lieutenant governor was sworn in after former Gov. Nikki Haley was confirmed as the new ambassador to the United Nations.

As of midday Wednesday, the petition had 564 signatures.