How I’m going to vote today

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail here. But I’m going to go vote in a while, and this is what’s on my mind at the moment — still trying to work out how to vote on two or three of the races/questions.

Of course, I’m going to take a Republican ballot. The Democratic one gives me exactly three decisions to make, and none of them is particularly worth making. Henry is going to win re-election, and I’m not crazy about any of the Dems running to oppose him. If I were voting on that, I’d choose Joe Cunningham, but that’s mainly because last week Mia reminded us about her tendency to fly off the handle at people in a particularly immature manner (kind of reminds me of Nikki’s Facebook rants during her first term as governor).

Then there’s the three people running for superintendent of education, whose chances in the fall are more or less equally dismal. I’ve never heard of any of them but Jerry Govan. You know Jerry. He was accused — and acquitted, let me note — of assaulting Rep. Gilda Cobb Hunter in the State House. I’ve known who Govan was for many years, but that’s the main thing I remember about him.

Finally, there are three Dems seeking to run for U.S. Senate. I’ve only heard of one of them — Catherine Fleming Bruce. I’ve never met her; I just know the name because she has run for office before — multiple times, I think. Anyway, they’re seeking to oppose Tim Scott. I don’t think he’s worried about it.

So I’m taking a Republican ballot, and here’s how I plan to vote:

  • It turns out Henry has an opponent — name of Harrison Musselwhite, a.k.a. “Trucker Bob.” But I just looked him up, and his main problem with Henry is that Henry isn’t crazy enough. So much for voting for him as a protest. Looks like I won’t vote for governor. (So, since I have a slight preference in the Democratic vote, that’s one reason to question passing up that opportunity. But it’s not a strong reason.)
  • I’ll vote for Mark Hammond because he’s been in office quite a few years without messing up. But even more because Keith Blandford doesn’t really offer anything that would make me want to vote for him. Seriously. The URL of his website is blandford4america. Which leaves us puzzling over what federal office he thinks he’s running for.
  • I’m still torn about attorney general. Alan Wilson used to be a pretty sane human being, but now he’s endorsed by Trump. But have you checked out his opponent? Yikes. So either I vote for Alan to protect us from her, or skip this one, as I’ll do on governor. Alan’s going to win anyway.
  • Superintendent of education. This one I’m sure about. Molly Spearman has endorsed Kathy Maness, and so has Mandy Powers Norrell, who called her “an actual educator who has worked her entire life for public schools.” I will vote for her with enthusiasm, to try to keep the crazies from running our schools. Especially the one who has raised the most money, and is clearly not qualified for the job.
  • I’m also voting with an undivided mind for Hugh Weathers, who is running for the last time for commissioner of agriculture. We endorsed Hugh back when he first ran, even though he was running against Emile DeFelice. (Emile ran a great campaign and we really liked him, but he didn’t have a fraction of Hugh’s background in agriculture.) I like Hugh’s “Certified SC Grown” campaign (even though it’s not as cool as Emile’s “Put Your State on Your Plate”). Also, Hugh has — like Mark Hammond — been in office a long time without embarrassing us. This is particularly relevant in Hugh’s case, given his predecessor’s entanglement with cockfighting. Yes, in SC we do have a low bar, but there it is.
  • And I’m going to vote for my representative, Micah Caskey. This has been quite a race. I’ll be interested to see how much he and his opponent spent. I’m pretty sure it’s a record for this House seat. On my desk here are — let me count them — seven slick mailers from the two candidates combined. Plus a number of phone calls, and texts, from both. Melanie Shull seems to be a nice enough lady for someone who is WAY ideological. (From one of her mailers: “I will be a strong conservative voice for the silent majority that suffer at the hands of progressive policies and an increasingly intrusive, overreaching government.”) When I told Micah one of his signs was stolen from my yard, his immediate response was that he didn’t think she had anything to do with it — just overzealous supporters. I agreed. Have I been wildly happy about Micah’s mailers arguing that he is, too, a conservative? Nope. I was even less happy to get a phone call and a text from Henry supporting him (assuring us Micah is “a true conservative”). But you can’t get everything you want in this world.
  • Then there are the three mock-referendum questions at the end. If the machine allows it, my answer on the first two will be “hell, no!” I’ll likely answer no on the third, too, as a vote against including these stupid questions on ballots — even though the way it’s worded, it’s not necessarily objectionable. It would depend on how legislation trying to accomplish it were worded.

Here is a copy of the sample Democratic ballot in my precinct, and here is the sample GOP one.

32 thoughts on “How I’m going to vote today

  1. Barry

    My wife wants to vote for Maness. Her and her fellow teachers are hoping she wins.

    I am not voting though. I think the Republican effort to lie about the voting process and make it sound like people like me were illegally voting has worked and I’m not interested anymore.

    My wife was a bit mad when I told her I would not go with her to vote for Maness. I told her it didn’t matter. I think I convinced her.

      1. Barry

        my wife resigned at the end of this school year along with a load of the teachers at her school. So her teaching days might be over for good.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Well, however many years she’s been doing it, it’s that many more years than I would have been able to do it…

          So God bless her.

          That’s one of two things I’ve always known I couldn’t do — teaching, and sales. But I’ve always appreciated the people who could…

    1. Doug Ross

      “Her and her fellow teachers are hoping she wins.”

      I think she’d be mad about your grammar as well.

      1. Barry

        I apologize. I was at the doctor’s office typing away on this board and 2 others so i mights not get it right.

        Plus, I liked the way i said it and that’s all that matters.

        1. Doug Ross

          “I was at the doctor’s office typing away on this board and 2 others”

          Might be why you were at the doctor’s office

  2. Scout

    I am going to vote soon. I am choosing pretty much the same as you for mostly the same reasons. I have been unhappy with some of Micah’s votes and particularly with his Education mailer, and I told him so. But I totally concede that he is the better choice of the two running, and I also appreciate that he always writes me back and tries to explain himself in a civil manner.

    I would like to also vote in the Democratic primary to support Joe Cunningham and Lisa Ellis. But I feel my vote for Kathy Maness is more needed because she absolutely is the most qualified and the best choice and her opponents are more scary and around here will actually have support. And she also wrote me back and converses like a sane intelligent considerate person. So that is a plus. Though I like Lisa Ellis best, and I hope it comes down to Lisa Ellis and Kathy Maness – the truth is any of the Democratic candidates for Education would be better than many of the Republicans. Some of them don’t even have the the required credentials for the office – I’m not sure why they are allowed to be on the ballot.

    But I have family in Richland County who want Chakisse Newton, so I am voicing my Democratic primary choices vicariously through them.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      “But I feel my vote for Kathy Maness is more needed because she absolutely is the most qualified and the best choice and her opponents are more scary and around here will actually have support.”

      Yes. By voting for her, your vote is more likely to have a positive effect on South Carolina…

  3. Doug Ross

    I took a Democrat ballot.

    Voted for Joe Cunningham because I would never vote for McMaster and the other two Democrats have even less of a shot than Cunningham. Unfortunately, Joe will likely go down the same path as the last two losing Democrats by talking about schools, Medicaid, and diversity. None of those topics will win the election. Why don’t Democrats pick some new topics and just assume that voters already know they are “for the children”? Legal pot (Cunningham is for it) should be a front and center issue to hammer the Republicans on. Same for legal sports gaming — a huge potential revenue generator. And why won’t Democrats ever talk about taxes? Propose SOMETHING new that voters can grab onto. Simplify the tax code.

    After Cunningham and all the state-wide Democrats lose again in November, I will expect there will be the same rhetoric as usual from the party. Blaming everything but their own tired ideas and boring candidates. Think about how badly you have to perform to lose to a guy like McMaster!

    For Superintendent of Education, I voted for Lisa Ellis since my wife and daughter worked with her and recommended her.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Well, we were for both the legal pot (excuse me, James, I mean “medical cannabis”) and sports betting. And we got your vote, and your contributions, and I will always be grateful for them…

      1. Doug Ross

        My views haven’t changed in decades… I am a devout libertarian… except on one thing; I support national healthcare now mostly because having a solution that has private healthcare and Medicare and Medicaid allows the government run programs to hide their inefficiency and waste. If we all had the same plan, there would be hopefully better management of the resources.

        Socially progressive, fiscally conservative is the only logical choice. More freedom, less taxes.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Stupid Twitter. I just meant to post the Joe Wilson tweet.

      Although it’s nice to know someone besides Nancy Mace and what’s-her-name is running in the 1st District…

  4. Doug Ross

    Some people on Twitter are crying over the loss by upstate Republican representative Rita Allison. Never heard of her until today but when I saw she was 82 years old and had been in office for three decades, I was left wondering why anyone would think what South Carolina needs is an 82 year old legislator. If we can’t get term limits, we should at least have age limits.

    The problems this country has can be tied to the penchant for electing elderly people into positions of power. Biden, McConnell, Pelosi, shouldnt be running this country… 10% of Congress treat it like a rest home. Diane Feinstein is supposedly so diminished now that her staff has to hide her from any activities facing the public.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          I mean, South Carolinians have to get into the Guinness Book for <em>something</em>…

          Personally, I’m satisfied just to drink a Guinness — preferably in Dublin…

          Here I am, in Dublin, taking the class at the brewery on the proper way to draw a pint. And some of y’all think I have no skills. I’ve got a certificate and everything…

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            For those of you interested in the finer points…

            I’m putting the finishing touch on the pint I’m holding under the tap. The two pints at lower left have only been through the first step, and are waiting until the head reaches the point where you can finish the process…

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              In the first step, you tilt the glass toward you, and fill it to the top of the harp. Then you put it down on the bar and let some of the gas in the bubbles sink down into the stout (it’s all way scientific). Then you pick it back up and, holding it level this time, carefully fill it to the top…

            2. Brad Warthen Post author

              Here, you see Jim, one of my classmates, doing the first part of the process. And in this shot, you can see three pints in different stages of the intermediate step…

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Oh, and at the end, you have to let it sit for a minute or two (I forget exactly how long — I need a refresher course!) before handing it to the customer.

                Bottom line, if someone pulls you a pint of Guinness as though it were mere beer, all in one step, and immediately plunks it down, you should sit there feeling very smug and superior.

                Or, you can say something, if you’re the confrontational type…

        2. Doug Ross

          I didn’t really know who Strom Thurmond was in 1990 when I moved to SC from “up north”. My first real experience with him was watching the Clarence Thomas hearings where he was embarrassingly diminished mentally and physically (“Speak into the masheeen!”

          He served two terms AFTER that. That everyone in this state pretended he was competent is typical of this state’s “Rather do it OUR way than the right way” mentality. Stubborn to an extreme fault. Blind loyalty over logic. It’s why we had Hugh Leatherman in office for a decade or more beyond when he should have been in power. And what we will likely see in Washington in the next two years.

          1. Barry

            Nearly everyone knew Strom was out of it. His last campaigns were not about his abilities but his power.

            He had a handler that was essentially the Senator and that guy was kept out of the press and off tv. Strom took orders from him.

            Strom’s supporters didn’t care.

  5. Doug Ross

    Saw a photo on Twitter of Mia McCleod giving her concession speech outside wearing a mask. That pretty much sums up why she had zero chance. The optics of a candidate wearing a mask at this point are really bad.

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