Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Incumbent Rep. Jenny Horne will be competing against Evan Guthrie and Franklin Smith in the upcoming primary election for her House of Representatives seat’s Republican nomination.
House District 94 includes downtown historic Summerville, Central Avenue and the Miles Jamison Road area. The seat is subject to a two-year term.
Rep. Horne is a lawyer. She’s actively involved in the law community and has served in many legal organizations, including as the president of the South Carolina Women Lawyers Association.
Horne has cited her experience in the legislature as a boon for her campaign, as well as her voting record of supporting children and seniors.
In regard to education, she’s mentioned implementing a board of regents to manage higher education standards throughout the state, and encouraging the growth of technical colleges to educate South Carolina students.
Implementing a gas tax has been a significant part of her campaign as well.
“Road problems are an old problem. The gas tax has not increased since 1986, it’s currently 16 cents, while neighboring states are around 30 cents. I had this discussion in the fall, and I want to know from the audience, how many of you would pay more for gas if you knew it was going to make your roads better?” she asked the audience at the 2014 Candidate Forum on May 12 in Summerville.
She’s held the House 94 seat since 2009, after winning the 2008 election unopposed. She was also unopposed in the 2010 and 2012 elections.
Evan Guthrie, a political newcomer, is a lawyer. He has been thoroughly involved in the community as a volunteer to many nonprofit organizations.
Guthrie has cited his political inexperience as a benefit to voters; he claims he does not have involvements with special interest groups and will remain a voice of the people: “I want to be visible, and want to be a citizen in the legislature.”
The candidate said he supports traditional conservative values of smaller government, lower taxes and more home rule.
“As far as raising any taxes, that should always be the last resort. We should look first and see can we cut any fat? Is there anything else that can be done?” he said of potentially implementing a South Carolina gas tax increase.
The third Republican candidate, Franklin Smith, is a retiree. He’s often cited his career as an economist and a businessman throughout his campaign as a unique perspective for the seat and an opportunity to restore conservatism to District 94.
“I don’t believe government is the answer. I think government is the problem. The reason you go to Columbia is to be at the right place at the right time,” he said. “Government is not the solution, but you need people in the government who understand they’re not the solution.”
Smith has also weighed in on the gas tax issue, but from a different perspective compared to other candidates.
“People wait to buy gas in this state. It will impinge how much revenue is being spent in this state, on not just the tax but the burgers, fries and sodas. We have to look at this from all avenues. This is an economic question.”
Whoever wins the Republican nomination in the primary will face unopposed Democratic candidate Damian Daly in the general election.