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Each of South Carolina’s top GOP gubernatorial contenders are starring alongside Gov. Mark Sanford and former President Ronald Reagan in a new mailing supporting the passage of parental choice legislation in the Palmetto State.

Henry McMaster, Andre Bauer and Gresham Barrett all appear and are quoted in the mailing, which reaffirms the South Carolina Republican Party’s support of parental choice.

In case you’ve forgotten the official SCGOP position on this issue (as a lot of Republican lawmakers apparently have), here it is:

We embrace the healthy competition that will result from a comprehensive school choice plan that includes the private sector, and believe such a system should be instituted from kindergarten through 12th grade. In addition to improving public school performance, a system of school choice that includes tax credits, scholarship granting organizations and vouchers would
offer more compassionate and better opportunities for all children in South Carolina.

Yup, that’s pretty unambiguous language if you ask us.

Reagan, who introduced education tax credits way back in 1983, is quoted in the mailing as saying “it is of great importance to the continued vitality of our society that parents have a meaningful choice between public education and the many forms of private education that are available.”

Hopefully Sen. John Courson – who claims to be a ‘Reagan disciple’ and yet has spent years blocking choice – will take special notice of that quote.

Sanford adds that “a monopoly on education is bad for consumers and bad for taxpayers, and we believe that only by unleashing the power of the marketplace can we achieve the truly transformative change in education that our state so desperately needs.”

The other quotes can be viewed by clicking on the mailing below.

In addition to McMaster, Barrett and Bauer, other 2010 Republican gubernatorial prospects are also supportive of parental choice.

Sen. Tom Davis and Rep. Nikki Haley – both favorites of fiscal conservatives – are longtime choice supporters who are co-sponsoring this year’s parental choice legislation.

And with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Robert Ford obviously leading the charge in the S.C. Senate, that leaves Sen. Vincent Sheheen (D-Kershaw) as the only announced gubernatorial candidate on either side of the aisle that’s not backing a comprehensive parental choice plan.


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