Denise Jones, S.C. House District 77

Wednesday, 10 a.m. Denise Jones says she’s been running into her opponent, incumbent Democrat John Scott, at a lot of the meetings she’s gone to in the "African-American community" — a term that would describe much of the district.

"They seem to have more community meetings" than folks in white precincts do, she observed. In some ways, this campaign has been an eye-opening experience to this Republican challenger.

"I’ve been invited to little black ladies’ homes," she said, and "They’re really afraid in their homes." This has highlighted for her concern over the growing gang problem in the Midlands.

Ultimately, she believes, "We all have … the same concerns, the same desires."

The top issues? Education — "I’m passionate about that," she said. "We need to take back our children."

That brought us to her support for the "Put Parents in Charge" proposal — although we had to bring it up. After saying, "I understand both sides," she acknowledged that "I do support that."

"We would all do anything we can for our children to achieve."

Aside from that particular approach to achievement, she had other thoughts on education with which we could agree: She said we need to address school district consolidation, and she understands (unlike most PPIC supporters) that our disastrous dropout rate would have to be addressed separately.

She is not enchanted with the idea of shifting the tax burden from property to sales, and with good reason: She understands the volatility of the sales tax. "You’ve got to be able to count on the property taxes."

As a former finance director for more than one state agency, she’s big on cost savings, and believes the state should offer employees incentives to come up with ways to cut back on spending. "I’m big about ownership," she says more than once.

She would restructure state government to eliminate some of the separately elected constitutional officers, but she’s wary of consolidating some agencies.

An area of agreement with our board: "I don’t think state government should dictate to city government or county government how they should run their business."

An area of disagreement: She has signed Grover Norquist‘s "no new taxes" pledge. The good news is that she’s tried to mail it in, but it must not have gotten there, because they keep writing to ask her for it. That might be fitting, since she does support a cigarette tax increase, and other signers think that would violate the pledge — which is the biggest reason it hasn’t passed even though 70 percent of South Carolinians are for it.


One thought on “Denise Jones, S.C. House District 77

  1. Bob Barnwell

    Denise is right on the issues that matter, right for families, women, our children and for District 77. She is right on the tobacco tax and common sense solutions to health care and education policies. We need a change so badly, and she is someone who will listen to and work for us. Thanks for your endorsement for her!

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