Andy Shain and Jamie Lovegrove of The Post and Courier sit down with host Gavin Jackson to discuss the governor’s State of the State address and how the the 2020 Democratic presidential race is shaping up in South Carolina.
Gov. Henry McMaster has made it clear in his inaugural address, the executive budget and now his State of the State, education is the top priority in the State House. The Senate and House are working on an education reform package that will aim to consolidate school districts, boost teacher pay, make classrooms more efficient and crack down on local school boards, among other things.
McMaster’s other top agenda items include: tax relief, specifically 15 percent tax cuts and a $200 million tax rebate; economic development funding; boosting law enforcement pay and protecting the coast from offshore drilling and seismic testing.
McMaster’s plans have been a lot more collaborative with the lawmakers than his predecessors. “The relationship he has crafted with law makers is going to be beneficial," Lovegrove said. "He has put himself in the position to make his wish list possible.”
Several 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls came through South Carolina this past week. Crowds have been engaged and interested in the presidential hopefuls during the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day rally at the State House and other events in Columbia, Florence and Charleston.
Shain adds it will be interesting to see how crowds change once second and third tier candidates start arriving. “It will be interesting to see how quickly the have-nots stay in the race compared to the brand names – and how that changes the equation," Shain said.
South Carolina is an early-primary voting state and African American voters make up a majority block of Democrats. Shain noted that the 2008 primary was a turning point for Obama. Will that be the case in the 2020 primary?
Candidates are laying groundwork now and will continue to visit throughout the coming 13 months. The Democratic preisdential primary is Feb. 29, 2020.
Shain and Lovegrove expect voters will be asking hard-hitting questions to candidates as they traverse the Palmetto State.
Keep an eye on McMaster’s relationship with the House and the Senate this session and if the cooperation on top issues continues. Will McMaster’s positive support continue? Will his tax cut plans come through? If they don’t, what will happen with the education reform?