9:35 a.m. — David Herndon turned 40 a few months ago, looked around, and decided it was time to get involved with politics. His business (trucking) was in good shape, and his kids at an age that he could free up the time.
First, he replaced Sherri Few as chair of the Kershaw County GOP. Then, when he heard Bill Cotty would not seek re-election, and Ms. Few was the only Republican contender for the seat (at that time), he filed for that.
He cites two main differences between him and Ms. Few, who as you may recall ran against Mr. Cotty last time:
- She’s the private-school voucher (or tax credit) candidate, and he stands in opposition to that. With three kids in public schools he says he feels like he’s got too much investment in them to give up now. He says his opponent’s support of private school "choice" isn’t overt, but all you have to do is look at where her money comes from. The current holder of the seat, of course, has been a favorite whipping boy of the out-of-state interests that have financed the private school "choice" movement in S.C.
- He’s a businessman, who’s made a payroll and knows what it’s like to make his way in the real world. By contrast, Ms. Few’s main experience is in the nonprofit world, with "most of the money coming out of Washington."
Beyond his opposition to vouchers, however, Mr. Herndon doesn’t have much to propose in the area of education, beyond paying teachers better.
He does have other reforms he’d like to see. He’s one of those all-too-few candidates who brings up government restructuring before we can ask him about it. He would get rid of the Budget and Control Board, and reduce the number of constitutional officers.
He says that "in general" he’s against tax increases — except for the cigarette tax. He wants to bring more of "a business approach" to government, but his emphasis is less on taxes than on spending. He’s an advocate for setting priorities, and an opponent of such pork spending as the Green Bean Museum in Lake City.
He also wants to work to make health care coverage more accessible. He learned the hard way — through having a child with cancer — that health insurance "is one of the most important things a family can have."
Looking ahead to the general election, he said he sees himself as having an advantage over Democrat Anton Gunn, in terms of having lived in the district 30 years, and having his roots there.