Year of birth: 1972
Number of years living in the district you seek to represent: Born, raised and attended school in South Carolina
Family: Husband Michael, Daughter Rena, 16, Son Nalin, 13
Education: B.S. in Accounting, Clemson University, 1994
Current occupation/employer: Governor, State of South Carolina
Employment, military and volunteer history: Businesswoman; Accounting Supervisor, FCR, Inc., Charlotte, N.C.; Exotica International, Inc., Orangeburg/West Columbia, S.C.; Board of Directors, Orangeburg Chamber of Commerce; Board of Directors, Lexington Chamber of Commerce; National Association of Women Business Owners; Board of Directors, Lexington Medical Center Foundation; Lexington Sheriff’s Foundation; Rotary Club of Lexington; The Original Six Foundation.
Please list all public offices to which you’ve been elected, when and where: Governor of the State of South Carolina, elected 2010; South Carolina House of Representatives, District 87, 2004, 2006, 2008
Please list year and office of any unsuccessful runs for public office: none
Other political and government experience: Chairman, S.C. House of Representatives Freshman Caucus, 2005-2006; Majority Whip, S.C. House of Representatives, 2006; Chairman, Banking and Consumer Affairs Subcommittee, Labor Commerce and Industry Committee, S.C. House of Representatives, 2008; Member, Women’s Caucus, S.C. House of Representatives; Republican Governors Association Executive Committee, 2010-2014.
1. What makes you the most qualified person to hold this position? (Be specific.)
The people of our state are honest, good, and hardworking, and they deserve and expect their elected officials to be the same – and deliver results. We understand that. And during our first term, we have delivered results for people in every part of our state, including the announcement of more than 57,000 jobs in 45 of 46 counties, landmark education reform, and historic government restructuring. But we can’t afford to stop or, worse, reverse the progress we’ve made.
2. What will be your top three priorities if you are elected? (100 words for each issue)
Economic development/workforce training: Our economy is coming back. Tax relief and tort reform have given our businesses room to grow. Our jobless rate has dropped to a new 13-year low, we’ve announced more than 57,000 jobs in 45 of 46 counties, and South Carolina tops the list as one of the fastest growing economies in the nation. But we’re just getting started. We will continue to resist higher taxes, to invest in our roads and bridges, to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses, and take care of the businesses we have, in addition to recruiting new companies, so that we keep the momentum going.
Education: This year we passed landmark education reforms that began a long overdue process of recognizing that high-poverty communities in our state face greater challenges in educating children. Our reforms will focus attention on where it’s most needed, on reading instruction in the early grades, and on improving technology in classrooms that don’t have it. This was not a one-year fix because it’s not a one-year problem. Going forward, we will closely monitor implementation of these new programs, and continue to push more education reforms that make a difference for children and their families.
Ethics reform: State government should be transparent and accountable and exists to serve the people, not the other way around. Our bipartisan ethics reform commission – whose recommendations The State newspaper called “a blue print for reform” - proposed sweeping changes to South Carolina’s ethics laws, campaign finance, and public records laws to rid the system of conflicts of interest and increase transparency. Although certain members of the State Senate killed ethics reform this year, we will continue our fight to give the people of our state the kind of honest and accountable state government they want and deserve.
3b. For incumbents: What do you consider your most significant accomplishments in this office?
-- Our state’s jobless rate has dropped to a 13-year low, and more South Carolinians are working than ever before.
-- We’ve announced more than 57,000 jobs in 45 of 46 counties.
-- South Carolina tops the list as one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation.
-- We’ve moved more than 20,000 South Carolinians from welfare to work.
-- We passed landmark education reforms that bring technology and reading improvements to poorer areas throughout our state
-- We passed significant government restructuring measures, including elimination of the Budget and Control Board, and requiring on-the-record voting.
4. Describe at least one significant political position you hold that would clash with your political base.
Most people hold multiple different political positions that don’t always neatly fit into the box of a “political base.” It’s a safe conclusion that at various times there have been some members of my own political party who have disagreed with me on a variety of topics.
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.
As The State newspaper has spared no column space covering, there has been no shortage of trumped up and politically-motivated allegations against us. Time and again, those allegations have been dismissed.
6. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy or been delinquent on your federal, state or local taxes? If so, please give the details.
As has been previously previously reported in this newspaper, just as many South Carolina families have done and continue to do, our family has availed ourselves of the opportunity to secure deadline extensions on filing our income taxes due to the unnecessarily complicated and cumbersome process that goes along with complying with complicated tax laws.
7. Are there any personal details about you that voters would be interested in knowing?
I have a Facebook page with more than 142,500 friends, on which I share some personal information from time to time. For those who are interested in such information, I’d encourage them to join our page.