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)
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)
▪ 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)
Mark your calendar
Donald Trump campaigns in Summerville
Republican presidential debate in Simi Valley at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Vivek Ramaswamy to speak at Wofford College
U.S. Court hears oral arguments in SC-1 redistricting case
Board of Economic Advisors meeting
S.C. and N.C. Federations of Republican Women presidential candidate forum at Winthrop University
Primary election for state Senate District 19
Deadline to file for the S.C. GOP Presidential Primary
Filing period for the S.C. Democratic Presidential Primary
State Senate District 42 special election
Local municipal elections
Board of Economic Advisors revenue forecast
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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