Politics & Government

SC’s last Democratic governor makes endorsement for the state’s top job

Former S.C. Gov. Jim Hodges
Former S.C. Gov. Jim Hodges The State/File

South Carolina’s last Democratic governor has endorsed the man he hopes will be the next one.

Jim Hodges said Thursday he is endorsing state Rep. James Smith, D-Richland, for the Democratic Party’s nomination for the state’s top job.

“I have seen first hand James’s integrity and dedication to service to the people of South Carolina,” Hodges said in a press statement.

“James has always put country ahead of self, volunteering to serve in Afghanistan when he had a young family. He’s shown that same courage in challenging the status quo in Columbia. He’s a true change agent, and that’s why he will be a great Governor.”

Hodges, of Lancaster, was governor for one term from 1998 to 2002. Previously, he was a state representative.

The former governor will join Smith when he kicks off his gubernatorial campaign Tuesday in Columbia. Smith will face a primary challenge next year from Charleston businessman Phil Noble.