Five for the S.C. House

DISTRICT 114: BOBBY HARRELL

Bobby Harrell has provided solid leadership during four terms as speaker of the S.C. House of Representatives, passing reform legislation to streamline government and provide greater accountability. Maybe one day the state Senate will follow suit.

A Republican representing District 114, Rep. Harrell has made major contributions to South Carolina and the Lowcountry in his support of economic development, ranging from small businesses to the port. He played a central role in bringing Boeing to North Charleston, getting the state funding needed to deepen the channel for Charleston Harbor and securing a tax break for small businesses.

In the next session, he pledges to work for government reorganization that will give the executive branch greater authority; seek additional revenue for roads and bridges, though without a gas tax hike; and work for a school funding formula that doesn’t shortchange Charleston County.

Criticized for his use of campaign funds in recent weeks, Rep. Harrell also pledges to seek ethics reform next session.

And you can take him at his word. As speaker, he has been a consensus builder, maintaining the trust of his colleagues and working across the aisle. His long record of legislative achievement recommends him for another term.

DISTRICT 115: CAROL TEMPEL

South Carolina’s public education system continues to be a defining problem. As a Charleston County educator, Carol Tempel helped provide solutions. She could offer the same as a member of the S.C. House representing District 115.

Now retired from education, she formerly served as principal of Academic Magnet High School, recognized as one of the nation’s best “choice” schools. She also helped develop the math and science curricula for the school district. Ms. Tempel, a Democrat, makes a solid case that educational improvements are a necessary part of the state’s economic development program to provide more and better jobs for its citizens.

And she is highly motivated. Among the 250 candidates who were removed from the ballot because of a filing technicality, Ms. Tempel gathered the 2,000 signatures necessary to get on the ballot as a petition candidate.

Ms. Tempel is a small business owner, and cites her personal experience with government regulation and job creation as an asset for a state lawmaker. With a Ph.D. in education, wide-ranging experience and her support of public school choice, Ms. Tempel could be a major resource for the Legislature.

DISTRICT 102: JOE JEFFERSON

Democrat Joe Jefferson has represented House District 102 since 2004. He has more that he wants to do.

One of his top priorities is attracting more jobs to Berkeley County and the state. He is proud of the Legislature’s role in luring Boeing, and its 6,000-plus jobs, to the area. And he believes that securing financial support for dredging Charleston Harbor was the right thing to do for the state.

Recognizing that it takes an able work force to attract new industry, he will work to improve education in South Carolina.

As a former member of the S.C. Department of Transportation Commission, he will work for improvements to the state’s many deteriorating roads and bridges. And as a member of the House committee on medical affairs, he is committed to addressing pressing health needs.

Rep. Jefferson worked eight years with Congressman Mendel Davis, chaired the Berkeley County School Board and served as a magistrate in Berkeley County for 32 years.

His contacts and insights have enabled him to offer good constituent service and will help him to continue doing his good work for Berkeley.

DISTRICT 100: EDWARD SOUTHARD

Edward Southard, a contractor and former chairman of the Berkeley County Planning Commission, has represented House District 100 well for the past year by keeping in mind what his constituents want.

He says his loyalty to the people of Berkeley County comes before his allegiance to the Republican party.

Rep. Southard is satisfied with how the state retirement system’s fiscal problems were resolved, but he would like to find out how the retirement system got so deep into trouble. He doesn’t want it to happen again.

“I have a big problem with waste, fraud and incompetency.” As such, he is concerned about the influence of lobbyists, and is prepared to push forward ethics reforms that will look at their activities as well as set new standards for legislators.

Mr. Southard believes the state needs more business owners like himself and fewer lawyers in Columbia. He supports government reorganization, including eliminating the Budget and Control Board. He says the legislative session could easily be shortened.

Chosen in a special election to finish out the term of Rep. David Umphlett, who died in office, Mr. Southard has shown himself to be an independent-minded legislator and has earned re-election to a full term.

DISTRICT 97: ED CARTER

Ed Carter wants to help bring economic development to those portions of Dorchester County where jobs are badly needed. His broad experience as former Dorchester County administrator, Chamber of Commerce president and county planning commissioner will give him a head-start in getting the job done as a legislator.

Running as a Republican challenger, he would work to bring new industry along the interstate highway where existing interchanges make it a natural.

As part of that effort, he will push for tax reform and regulatory streamlining to encourage manufacturing.

Mr. Carter points out that he wants to see “industry where it belongs,” and not throughout the rural portion of the county, which he says should be largely maintained for traditional uses.

A Citadel graduate and retired Air Force colonel, Mr. Carter flew two Vietnam combat tours and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He currently works in real estate appraisal.

He says the state Commerce Department is doing a good job and that the Legislature needs to work more cooperatively with the governor to help achieve fiscal accountability and economic growth in South Carolina.