Lt. governor candidate speaks to Waccamaw GOP

  • Thursday, February 20, 2014

Lloyd Mackall/For the Times Pat McKinney, candidate for lieutenant governor, addresses the Waccamaw Neck Republican Club on Monday night in Pawleys Island.

Known for his development of Kiawah Island, Pat McKinney, candidate for lieutenant governor, said he will work with the S.C. Legislature and Gov. Nikki Haley to continue state government reform, be an advocate for seniors and work to assist small businesses.

“It is an office to many that is looked at as under utilized and somewhat unappreciated,” he said at a meeting of the Waccamaw Neck Republican Club on Monday night in Pawleys Island.

“The reason I’m running is really three fold, first of all South Carolina is where I’ve built a business, raised my family, grown in faith and lived my entire adult life,” he said. “I’ve still got a lot of energy and enthusiasm and want to continue to work and give back to. Secondly, our legislature passed a law that put on the ballot a constitutional amendment, which said beginning in 2018 the office of governor and lieutenant governor will run together as a team just like they do in the federal election.”

He said over the last 20 or 30 years, he’s “underwhelmed” about the governor and lieutenant governor’s relationship.

“I’m not picking on any party, but you won’t find any governors or lieutenant governors who worked in a collaborative way,” he said. “And I think that’s a missed opportunity. As a businessman and as an entrepreneur, I see an opportunity in this next election to go ahead and work collaboratively with the governor in the executive office to advance the agenda of South Carolina.”

“Thirdly, I want to go up and work hard and perform the duties the lieutenant governor is already expected to do by the constitution and by law — to preside over the S.C. Senate and the Office of Aging, which is an extremely important function of the office of the lieutenant governor. My father is in his late 80s, and I’m his fiduciary. He resides in an assisted living center in Mount Pleasant, and I understand aging issues and how important that segment of our population is — which by the way, includes me — to our state.”

McKinney said those who have watched the office of lieutenant governor know it is perceived to be a part-time job.

“I’d like to take the entrepreneurial spirit I believe I can bring to the office and take that spirit for a full-time effort,” he said. “I want to work in the area of economic development, job recruitment, small business growth and our Department of Parks and Recreation and Tourism to help improve —even more — the tourism climate within the state. It’s our second biggest industry and I don’t need to tell you folks here, it provides an awful lot of jobs.”

“I also want to work with the legislative delegation in Washington, D.C. — across the board and across party lines — to improve communications between what’s going on with our wonderful delegation in D.C. and what’s happening at our state level.”

McKinney said he’ll work to continue the reform efforts the governor has already “ignited” and others to improve state government. “One of the issues Gov. Haley was running on, ‘on-the-record’ voting, was something I felt strongly about and was behind the effort to get passed,” he said.

“There’s so many things that need to be done — everything from term limits to income disclosures — to improve the accountability and transparency from our state government down to us as voters.”

He appealed to the Waccamaw Neck Library crowd. “You care enough to come to a meeting like this,” he said. “And so your friends and neighbors are going to look to you to help them to decide whom to vote for. I’d appreciate your spreading the word.”

“And by the way, I’d be delighted if no other Republican announced to enter the primary. We’ll just go straight to the General Election, facing an opponent we’ll treat respectfully. We’re going to have a good race.”

He said the first thing he’ll do in office is eliminate the security detail, saving taxpayers $450,000 per year.

Bobby Walters and Cody Howard, of the Waccamaw High School Young Republican Club — a new group which has 40 members and meets every other Tuesday after school — were introduced by Georgetown County Republican chairman Randy Hollister.

Another club organizer, Rachel Thornton, and Walters and Howard, are juniors at WHS.

Hollister also told about a new website, www.georgetownGOP.org and a county-wide GOP dinner meeting on Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Pleasant Hill Community Center.

“We’ll enjoy the famous cooking of R.L. Port,” Hollister said.

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