Your SC politics briefing

Good morning and welcome to your weekly South Carolina politics briefing, a newsletter curated by The State’s politics and government team.

Gov. Henry McMaster and the South Carolina Department of Corrections recently informed the South Carolina Supreme Court that the state is ready to resume executions via lethal injection following a 12 year hiatus.

Two years ago in 2021, state officials tried to resume executions by creating a firing squad or giving death row inmates the option of electrocution. However, that law is now under contention in the state Supreme Court concerning whether those executions constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

“Justice has been delayed for too long in South Carolina,” McMaster said in a press release, annoucing the state’s readiness to resume executions. “This (court) filing brings our state one step closer to being able to once again carry out the rule of law and bring grieving families and loved ones the closure they are rightfully owed.”

The Department of Corrections made more than 1,300 contacts in search of lethal injection drugs, according to the press release. Those inquiries included drug manufacturers, suppliers, compounding pharmacies and other potential sources.

The lethal injection policy will now be a one-drug protocol, which is “identical to protocols used by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and at least six other states,” the press release said. It also stated the use of this drug has been upheld against constitutional challenges.

(Photo via The State’s Joshua Boucher)

The South Carolina State House in Columbia, South Carolina on Thursday, March 9, 2023.
The South Carolina State House in Columbia, South Carolina on Thursday, March 9, 2023.

Tim Scott and Ron DeSantis announce endorsements

Tim Scott rolled out endorsements from 265 ‘grassroots’ leaders. It’s a list that included some current and former county party leaders among others. One name even was a former teenage Republican leader at River Bluff High School.

Never Back Down, the superPAC backing Ron DeSantis’ campaign, also rolled out a coalition of 18 faith leaders backing the Florida governor.

Whether endorsements mean anything are in the eye of the beholder. Some are meant to encourage contributions to a campaign, some are meant to encourage people to vote for a candidate.

For these local endorsements, these lists included people who will act as surrogates for candidates in their communities.

This week Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was the latest candidate to release an energy plan, which he said aims to bring price of gas down to $2 per gallon.

It includes allowing for more oil and gas drilling and pipeline development, allowing export of American energy, withdrawing from the Paris Climate agreement and revitalizing the nation’s nuclear industry.

“When America is dependent on Venezuela and the Saudis for oil in the name of climate justice, our nation is less safe and South Carolina families pay the price at the gas pump, at the grocery store, and everywhere in between,” DeSantis said in a statement provided exclusively to The State. “My plan to reverse our nation’s decline starts with making America energy dominant to ease the burden of inflation on working families and the middle class.”

(Photo via The State’s Javon L. Harris)

U.S. Sen. and presidential candidate Tim Scott speaks at a roundtable event in Duncan, S.C., on Friday, September 15, 2023.
U.S. Sen. and presidential candidate Tim Scott speaks at a roundtable event in Duncan, S.C., on Friday, September 15, 2023.

2024 Bites

The State: SC was picked to have first Democratic primary. How New Hampshire is making that difficult

The State: A change in the latest SC GOP presidential power rankings. Who moved up, who moved down?

The State: Nikki Haley calls for ending federal gas tax. Here’s how much people could save at the pump

The State: SC is sued in effort to kick Trump off presidential ballot, citing his alleged role in insurrection

Politico: Scott campaign to donors: Stay calm, carry on, write checks

Time: Tim Scott Floats Potential Running Mates as He Seeks Traction in New Hampshire

The Messenger: Tim Scott Says Tuberville Holding Up Military Promotions ‘Not Necessarily a Bad Thing’

Buzz Bites

South Carolina’s five sister state Sens. Penry Gustafson, Margie Bright Matthews, Mia McLeod, Sandy Senn and Katrina Shealy, who led a filibuster against a near total abortion ban, will receive a Profile in Courage award from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation in October.

Speaking of Senn, she will receive a primary challenge next year from state Rep. Matt Leber, R-Charleston, the Post and Courier reported.

David Mack III, a former S.C. state representative from Charleston and beloved advocate, died this week at 69. Statements detailing his commitment and service to South Carolina were released by Gov. Henry McMaster and President Joe Biden.

S.C. Transportation Secretary Christy A. Hall announced Thursday that Justin Powell, previously the chief of staff for the South Carolina Department of Transportation, will become the chief operating officer for the agency, effective immediately.

In a bid to replace former state Sen. Marlon Kimpson of Charleston, state Rep. Deon Tedder has defeated state Rep. Wendell Gilliard in a special election runoff for the state Senate District 42. Winning the runoff by only 11 votes, Tedder will now face Republican Rosa Key in the general election on Nov. 7.

(Photo via Travis Bell)

Rep. Deon Tedder gives a thumbs up to guests in the gallery during a House of Representatives session in Columbia, S.C. on Tuesday, March 29, 2022. (Travis Bell/STATEHOUSE CAROLINA)
Rep. Deon Tedder gives a thumbs up to guests in the gallery during a House of Representatives session in Columbia, S.C. on Tuesday, March 29, 2022. (Travis Bell/STATEHOUSE CAROLINA)

Mark your calendar

Sept. 25

Donald Trump campaigns in Summerville

Sept. 27

Republican presidential debate in Simi Valley at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

Oct. 9

Vivek Ramaswamy to speak at Wofford College

Oct. 11

U.S. Court hears oral arguments in SC-1 redistricting case

Oct. 16

Board of Economic Advisors meeting

Oct. 19

S.C. and N.C. Federations of Republican Women presidential candidate forum at Winthrop University

Oct. 24

Primary election for state Senate District 19

Oct. 31

Deadline to file for the S.C. GOP Presidential Primary

Nov. 1-10

Filing period for the S.C. Democratic Presidential Primary

Nov. 7

State Senate District 42 special election

Local municipal elections

Nov. 16

Board of Economic Advisors revenue forecast

Dec. 7-10

First in the South Republican Action Conference in Myrtle Beach

Jan. 9, 2024

State legislative session begins

Feb. 3, 2024

S.C. Democratic Party Presidential Primary

Feb. 24, 2024

S.C. GOP Presidential Primary

Before we adjourn

In an effort to help make South Carolina safer for children, U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace is reviving a push she started five years ago while serving as a state representative from the Lowcountry.

Apparently, South Carolina has a loophole in state law where adults have historically been allowed to attempt to lure and abduct children with impunity. Mace, state Rep. Lee Hewitt and a group of concerned parents want to change that by urging the Legislature to pass H. 3015 next session.

The bill would make it a crime for an adult to attempt to lure a child into a car, house or any type of building without parental consent.

“I wrote the original bill as a state legislator with Lee Hewitt,” Mace told supporters on the social media platform X. “It must be passed immediately when the SC legislature returns to session. I’ll be making calls, and encourage you to do so as well.”

Mace’s push comes as reports circulate in the Lowcountry involving a man trying to lure away two young boys this past weekend.

“I’m sorry it took another incident like this to get this conversation going again,” Hewitt said, who sponsored the bill after co-sponsoring a similar measure with Mace in 2018. He added that he hopes the recent occurrence will prompt action on the bill in the House at start of the legislative session next year.

House Judiciary Chairman Weston Newton confirmed that it will.

“It’s not as if it’s being held back for any reason,” Newton said. “When we reconvene in January, it will be one of the matters identified for the criminal law subcommittee of judiciary to take up for a hearing.”

Pulling the newsletter together this week was Javon L. Harris, reporter on The State’s politics and state government team. You can keep up with him on Twitter and send him tips on Twitter at @JavonLHarris_JD or by email at

To stay on top of South Carolina politics and election news, you can chat with us on Facebook, email us tips and follow our stories at