Vote 2018: South Carolina Candidates’ Positions on Education

SC Future Minds is a non-partisan 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any political candidates. All information included here has been pulled directly from candidates’ websites to allow voters to access education policy positions in one place. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by last name. Click here to learn why your vote is so important 

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2018 GENERAL ELECTION VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 17TH:

  • Registration by Mail:  Any voter registration by mail application that is postmarked Tuesday, October 9 or earlier will be accepted.
  • Online Voter Registration: Any online voter registration application submitted by Sunday, October 7 will be accepted (application must be submitted by 11:59 p.m., October 17).
  • Applications submitted by fax or email:  Any faxed or emailed application received by county voter registration offices by Sunday, October 7 will be accepted (application must be received by 11:59 p.m., October 17).
  • In-person applications at county voter registration offices:  Voters must register in person no later than 5:00 p.m., Friday, October 5, unless county board holds weekend hours (check locally)
  • Early Voting/Absentee Voting : In South Carolina Early Voting is the same as In Person Absentee Voting

Who Makes Decisions For Your Classroom?

Your Salary – School Board, SC Legislature
School Budget – School Board, SC Legislature, Governor
Class Size/Work Load – School Board, SC Legislature, Governor
Length of School Year – School Board, SC Legislature, Governor
Health Benefits – School Board, SC Legislature
Due Process – School Board, SC Legislature, Governor
Retirement Benefits – School Board, SC Legislature, Governor
Testing – Federal, State, School Board
Hiring Practices – School Board, SC Legislature, Governor
Teaching Credentials – Federal, State, School Board
Standards – State Board, State, Federal
Unemployment Comp. – Federal, State, Governor
Textbooks – School Board, SC Legislature


2018 Statewide Candidates

All information included here has been pulled directly from candidates’ websites to allow voters to access education policy positions in one place. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by last name.

Henry McMaster – Republican Candidate for Governor

If South Carolina is to remain competitive for future economic development and investment, then our students from all 46 counties must be ready to compete. We must have a multifaceted system, anchored by traditional public schools and public charter schools boasting the best teachers, principals and technologies.

  • I believe the Superintendent of Education should be a cabinet-level position appointed by the governor to bring accountability to our education system. I am happy to report that the General Assembly recently approved this proposal.
  • Teachers cannot teach and students cannot learn when distracted or threatened. By the end of my first term, I want to see a trained, certified police officer in every school, in every district – all day, every day – to prevent against tragedy.
  • Spiraling administrative costs have a direct impact on educational outcomes. As governor, I will consolidate small districts to reduce costs, limit duplication and put more money and resources where they belong: into the classrooms.
  • We must align our educational system with the technological necessities of the new economy. As governor, I will push for new teachers for coding and computer science classroom instruction in every school in the state.
  • Robust charter schools allow parents to choose the best educational opportunities for their children. We need more of them, and more transportation options to better facilitate school choice.
  • Recruiting new jobs and economic investment will do more to improve educational opportunity than simply sending more money from Columbia. When a school district prospers, the schools in that district prosper.

James Smith – Democratic Candidate for Governor

James Smith will be an Education Governor who will prioritize recruiting and retaining great teachers, keep our children safe, pursue bold reforms, and advance modernization and innovation to transform our education system so that all students are prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

Investing in our Teachers:
South Carolina ranks 37th nationally in average teacher salaries. We cannot recruit teachers if we are not paying them a competitive wage. That is why James joins Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman in calling for a 2% raise for South Carolina teachers. But this is not enough. When James is governor, he will work to ensure that teacher salaries meet or exceed the Southeastern regional average.

Improving our Schools:
On May 8, 2017, a 22-year-old school bus in Spartanburg caught fire with more than 50 students on board. Less than two months later, on June 12, 2017, Governor Henry McMaster vetoed $20.5 million in funding to replace aging and unsafe buses in South Carolina’s state-owned fleet. We must protect our children. James voted to replace state buses and when he is governor, he will fight to update the system that has woefully underfunded state school buses and left our children at risk.

Creating a School-to-Work Pipeline:
According to a recent study, South Carolina has over 3,500 vacant technology jobs. However, we lack workers with the necessary skills to fill these positions. To develop a workforce equipped to compete for these high-paying jobs, computer science must be a core part of the curriculum our schools. James will work to ensure computer science courses are provided in all schools and advanced courses are offered in all high schools so that all students will graduate with fundamental technology skills.

Lowering the Cost of Tuition:
Tuition costs are rising at an alarming rate as the current administration continues to underfund our colleges and technical schools. Nothing is more important to recruiting jobs, increasing incomes, and improving our quality of life than a trained, highly educated workforce.

Leaving no one Behind:
Currently, our education funding formula rewards those districts with the tax base to raise local funds needed for high-quality schools. This places our rural districts at an extreme disadvantage. The amount of funding a school receives should not be determined by its geographic location but rather by its need. When James is governor, he will work with the legislature and school district leaders to develop a system that is equitable for all students.

Transforming the Corridor of Shame into the Corridor of Opportunity:
For years, we have supported an education funding system that disenfranchises our poor and rural districts and leads to a system of “haves” and “have nots.” When James is Governor, he will reform the school funding formula and boost infrastructure and technology funding to change the “Corridor of Shame” to the “Corridor of Opportunity.”


2018 SC Secretary of State Candidates


2018 SC Treasurer Candidates


2018 SC Superintendent of Education Candidates


How to Find Your SC House District

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2018 SC House Candidates

Below are the candidates running for SC House of Representatives. Click on the name of the candidate to learn more about their positions.

District Democrat Republican Other
1 No candidate Bill Whitmire (I)  
2 Jody Gaulin Bill Sandifer III (I)
3 No candidate Gary Clary (I)
4 No candidate Davey Hiott (I)
5 No candidate Neal Collins (I)
6 No candidate Brian White (I) Ryan Cowsert (American)
7 No candidate Jay West (I)
8 No candidate Jonathon Hill (I)
9 No candidate Anne Thayer (I)
10 Lucy Hoffman West Cox
11 Devon Smith Craig Gagnon (I)
12 J. Anne Parks (I) No candidate
13 Michael Gaskin John McCravy (I)
14 No candidate Michael Pitts (I)
15 J.A. Moore Samuel Rivers Jr. (I)
16 No candidate Mark Willis (I)
17 Judi Buckley Mike Burns (I)
18 No candidate Tommy Stringer (I)
19 Carrie Counton Dwight Loftis (I)
20 No candidate Adam Morgan
21 No candidate Bobby Cox
22 B.K. Brown Jason Elliott (I)
23 Chandra Dillard (I) No candidate
24 No candidate Bruce Bannister (I)
25 Leola Robinson-Simpson (I) Steve Moore Tony Boyce (Independence)
26 John Kraljevich R. Raye Felder (I)
27 No candidate Garry Smith (I)
28 No candidate Ashley Trantham (I)
29 No candidate Dennis Moss (I)
30 No candidate Steve Moss (I)
31 Rosalyn Henderson Myers (I) No candidate
32 No candidate Max Hyde
33 No candidate Eddie Tallon (I)
34 No candidate Mike Forrester (I)
35 Helen Pendarvis Bill Chumley (I)
36 No candidate Merita Ann Allison (I)
37 No candidate Steven Long (I)
38 No candidate Josiah Magnuson (I)
39 No candidate Cal Forrest (I)
40 No candidate Richard Martin (I)
41 Annie McDaniel No candidate Fred Kennedy (United Citizens)
42 No candidate Doug Gilliam
43 Tom Hawk Randy Ligon
44 Mandy Powers Norrell (I) No candidate
45 Corin Buskey Brandon Newton (I)
46 Carl Kenny Dicks Gary Simrill (I)
47 Marty Cotton Tommy Pope (I)
48 Vickie Holt Bruce Bryant (I)
49 John King (I) No candidate Johnny Walker (American)
50 Will Wheeler (I) No candidate
51 J. David Weeks (I) No candidate
52 Laurie Funderburk (I) Penry Gustafson
53 No candidate Richie Yow (I)
54 Patricia Henegan (I) No candidate
55 Jackie Hayes (I) No candidate
56 No candidate Tim McGinnis (I)
57 Lucas Atkinson (I) No candidate
58 Paul Morse Jeff Johnson (I)
59 Terry Alexander (I) No candidate
60 Devon Justin Long Phillip Lowe (I)
61 Roger Kirby (I) No candidate
62 Robert Williams (I) Billy Baldwin
63 Mike Brank Jay Jordan (I)
64 Robert L. Ridgeway III (I) No candidate
65 No candidate Jay Lucas (I)
66 Gilda Cobb-Hunter (I) Tom Connor
67 No candidate George Smith Jr. (I) Brandon Humphries (L)
68 No candidate Heather Ammons Crawford (I) Cameron Ventura (L)
69 Beth Ann Rocheleau Chris Wooten (I) David Morris (L)
70 Wendy Brawley (I) No candidate
71 No candidate Nathan Ballentine (I)
72 Seth Rose No candidate
73 Christopher Hart (I) Ralph Bell
74 James Rutherford (I) No candidate Michael Block (United Citizens)
75 John Vernon Crangle Kirkman Finlay III (I)
76 Leon Howard (I) No candidate
77 Kambrell Garvin No candidate Justin Bishop (L)
78 Beth Bernstein (I) No candidate
79 Ivory Thigpen (I) No candidate Victor Kocher (L)
80 Jimmy Bales (I) No candidate
81 Elise Fox Bart Blackwell (I)
82 William Clyburn Sr. (I) No candidate
83 No candidate Bill Hixon (I) David Weikle (L)
84 Jennifer Lariscey Ronnie Young (I)
85 Sam Edwards Chip Huggins (I)
86 No candidate Bill Taylor (I)
87 Diane Summers Paula Rawl Calhoon
88 No candidate McLain Toole (I)
89 No candidate Micah Caskey (I)
90 Justin Bamberg (I) No candidate
91 Lonnie Hosey (I) No candidate
92 No candidate Joe Daning (I)
93 Russell L. Ott (I) Terry Kiser Sr.
94 Damian Daly Con Chellis
95 Jerry Govan Jr. (I) Chester Palmer
96 Bob Vanlue Lawrence Kit Spires (I)
97 Patsy Knight (I) Mandy Kimmons
98 No candidate Chris Murphy (I)
99 Jen Gibson Nancy Mace (I)
100 Michael Yates Sylleste Davis (I)
101 Cezar McKnight No candidate
102 Joseph Jefferson Jr. (I) Terry Hardesty
103 Carl Anderson (I) No candidate
104 No candidate William Bailey
105 No candidate Kevin J. Hardee (I)
106 Robin Gause Russell Fry (I)
107 No candidate Alan Clemmons (I)
108 No candidate Lee Hewitt (I)
109 David Mack (I) No candidate Rodney Travis (L)
110 Ben Pogue William S. Cogswell Jr. (I)
111 Wendell Gilliard (I) No candidate
112 Joe Preston Mike Sottile (I)
113 Marvin Pendarvis (I) No candidate
114 Dan Jones Lin Bennett (I) Melissa Couture (L)
115 Carol Tempel Peter McCoy (I)
116 Robert Brown (I) Carroll O’Neal
117 Krystle Simmons Bill Crosby (I)
118 No candidate Bill Herbkersman (I)
119 Leon Stavrinakis (I) Paul Sizemore
120 Gabriela Failing Weston Newton (I)
121 Michael Rivers (I) No candidate
122 Shedron Williams No candidate
123 Mario Martinez Jeff Bradley (I)
124 No candidate Shannon Erickson (I)
Notes • An (I) denotes an incumbent.