Chamber goes 100% for incumbents in House races

This just in from the state Chamber of Commerce:


Columbia, S.C.  – The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the state’s largest broad-based business organization, is pleased to announce the endorsements of the following House of Representative candidates who have primary challengers.

District 2 – Bill Sandifer, (Oconee)

District 10 – Dan Cooper, (Anderson)

District 17 – Harry Cato, (Greenville)

District 26 – Henry Wilson, (Pickens)

District 35 – Keith Kelly, (Spartanburg)

District 36 – Rita Allison, (Spartanburg)

District 38 – Joey Millwood, (Spartanburg)

District 39 – Marion Frye, (Saluda)

District 41 – Boyd Brown, (Fairfield)

District 55 – Jackie Hayes, (Dillon)

District 61 – Lester Branham, (Florence)

District 62 – Robert Williams, (Darlington)

District 75 – Jim Harrison, (Richland)

District 80 – Jimmy Bales, (Richland)

District 83 – Bill Hixon, (Aiken)

District 84 – Roland Smith, (Aiken)

District 86 – Jim Stewart, (Aiken)

District 87 – Todd Atwater, (Lexington)

District 98 – Chris Murphy, (Dorchester)

District 106 – Nelson Hardwick, (Horry)

District 112 – Mike Sottile, (Charleston)

District 123 – Richard Chalk, (Beaufort)

“South Carolinians who want good jobs and a strong economy should proactively support pro-business candidates,” said Otis Rawl, president and chief executive officer of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.  “Candidates endorsed by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce have demonstrated their support for priorities that support a strong economy and a competitive Palmetto State. These House candidates are committed to representing the people in their respective districts who each need good jobs, a competitive state economy and a pro-prosperity working environment to ultimately raise their individual incomes.”

The Chamber will issue further House endorsements after the primaries on June 8. In the race for governor, the Chamber has endorsed Gresham Barrett (R) and Vincent Sheheen (D). Visit for more information.

What do all of these candidates have in common? They’re all incumbents, or running in races without an incumbent. In District 26, incumbent Rex Rice is running for Congress; in District 87, Nikki Haley is running for governor; and in District 98, Annette Young is not seeking re-election.

It’s a shame the Chamber didn’t dig a little harder to make some real discernments (or at least give us some reasoning for its choices in the cases where there was no incumbent), because endorsements such as this WOULD mean more than usual this year, if they’d only put some thought into it. That’s because we won’t be getting an such fodder for thought from The State. This year, my former paper is only endorsing for governor, attorney general and 5th circuit solicitor, near as I can tell. And that leaves a big vacuum. I wish I could fill it, but I’m only one guy. And despite what that Lois Lane keeps saying, I am NOT Superman.

16 thoughts on “Chamber goes 100% for incumbents in House races

  1. Doug Ross

    So the same people who haven’t been able to create “good jobs, a competitive state economy and a pro-prosperity working environment” in the past decade are going to get it right the next time around? I guess all it takes is more experience.

    The Chamber of Commerce is another longstanding relic of the good old boy network. Lots of talk, lots of back room deals, very little results for the people of South Carolina.

  2. Phillip

    This has nothing to do directly with this post, but seeing Otis Rawl quoted immediately after a post about Vic Rawl, not so long after eating some collard greens from Rawl Farms out in Lexington County…

    Your readers might enjoy this website which traces geographic prevalence of last names from 1850 to 1990. I grew up in Charlotte, knew no Rawl-es nor Shealy’s, never encountered any in my travels or other places I lived, so was struck by how common these names are in SC.

    But even more striking, when you plug these names in to the website, is how concentrated they are here in this state, so rare elsewhere. I wonder what other names in other states might have “dug in” so deeply to their respective locations, geographically speaking.

    Pardon the drift off-topic…

  3. Kathryn Fenner

    I think it is a legacy of the German and Swiss yeoman farmers brought in to settle the Midlands as a buffer after the Stono Rebellion–Shealy = Schiele, for example. These people were separated by religion (Lutheran) and class (more middle class than either the low country aristocracy or the mount’n folk to the north and northwest). Don’t know what Rawl might have been in German, but Schumpert, Meetze/Metze, Meyers/Myers, Yonce, Shuler—you don’t have to try very hard to see a German root there.

  4. Matt

    If we’re playing “which name doesn’t fit with the others” then that would be Joey Millwood. I’m glad he got that endorsement (if it helps him), but he may very well be the only “non-RINO” on that list, if you get what I’m saying. In fact, a lot of people say his voting record over his first term comes the closest to being “hard conservative” in the mold of the Sanford wing of the House…

  5. Brad

    Except that Sanford isn’t conservative, in any sense that respects the language. He’s a libertarian, which is to say, a classical liberal.

  6. Mark Stewart

    What’s wrong with classical liberalism? And by that I assume you mean the early 19th Century, post Capt. Aubrey, line of thought? Rational thought and all that stuff seems to me to be a far cry from libertarianism in it’s current form.

  7. Brad

    I’m just saying it’s not conservatism. Beyond that, Lucky Jack Aubrey (a man of decidedly Tory instincts) and I would be the wrong ones to ask. Check with Dr. Maturin or one of those learned coves. He’s a deep old file, you know…

  8. Mark Stewart

    Thanks for that riff. That’s why I said “post Capt. Aubrey” – didn’t want to lump him in with the beginnings of our modern age! He was decidedly last century; know any of those around these parts these days?

  9. Brad

    Actually, Jack wasn’t even 19th century; he was a creature of the 18th, with his long hair clubbed in the back and his number-one scraper worn athwartships rather than fore-and-aft. And dinner at a proper hour, instead of fashionably late.

    Gotta run now; I’ve got to go home and drink to the king.

  10. Kathryn Fenner

    I’m confused, guys–“Mark Sanford” and “rational thought” yielded no results in my search.

  11. Matt

    Man, we’re reaching way back into the 19th century! I’m gonna read up on this Capt. Aubrey guy.

    I’m with you on the fact that there is are many differences between conservatism and libertarianism. Rand Paul is a perfect example of that–esp. on the national security side.

    But in terms of circa-2010 South Carolina political parlance, how would one argue that Bobby Harrell and Jake Knotts are more conservative than Mark Sanford and Tom Davis? I don’t think that you do.

  12. Brad

    Matt, I’ll be happy to introduce you to Capt. Aubrey. He and Dr. Stephen Maturin are the two central characters in the best series of historical novels ever written. It starts in March 1800 with “Master and Commander,” with Jack being promoted from Lieutenant to commander and appointed captain of the Sophie. This is based very closely on Lord Cochrane and his first command, the Speedy. The novels (there are 20 of them, and they’re all superb) then follow Jack and Stephen on through the years, through many commands for Jack, at least through the War of 1812 (which is where I am in the series — I’ve made myself save the last few books, but have read the first 15 of them something like four times now).

    The language, the detail — from technical naval matters to ordinary features of everyday life in that era — are so rich, they place you so squarely in that time, that you’ll likely be reluctant to come back to 2010.

    I’ll be happy to lend you a copy of the first book if you can’t find it at the library; I have several copies.

  13. Matt

    Oh, cool! I was thinking he was some former Member of British Parliament from way back when or something!

    Those books do look interesting. I’ve heard of Master and Commander but have never paid too much attention to it. But it looks like something I would actually like to read.

    I appreciate the offer to borrow one of the books from your collection. Since I’m one of your Upstate readers, I’ll be checking the libraries up here first.

    Thanks for the info!

  14. Abe Mills

    I am a candidate for district 36 House of Representatives and ironically these folks have never interviewed me. They obviously have no idea where I stand in regards to the economy and business. I have owned several small businesses, am a huge supporter of local growth, yet my opponent who has never even ran a business gets the endorsement. I guess the deeper I get into this election, the more corruption I find, sadly.

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