#SC2018: Tom Davis Is Out

Fiscally conservative champion says he will remain in State Senate …

South Carolina Senator Tom Davis announced late Wednesday that he has decided not to seek the GOP nomination for governor of the Palmetto State in 2018 – a major blow to limited government advocates who were counting on him to represent their perspectives and keep the rest of the “Republican” field honest.

It’s also a major blow to this website, which has chronicled Davis’ consistent advocacy on behalf of taxpayers over the years … and preemptively endorsed his candidacy a few months ago when it appeared likely he would enter the fray.

That’s not happening, apparently …

According to reporter Meg Kinnard of The Associated Press, Davis told her he decided not to run because he believes he can “have more of an impact on state government by continuing in the Legislature.”

“South Carolina government is dominated by the Legislature, and recent history has shown that reform-minded governors without legislative support can’t get much accomplished,” Davis told Kinnard. “I’m in a unique position in the state Senate to impact public policy on behalf of individual liberty and free markets – in some cases to a greater degree than if I were in the governor’s office.”

“I don’t want to tilt at windmills; I want to get things done,” Davis added.

Davis is a third-term, libertarian-leaning State Senator from Beaufort County who has made a statewide name for himself battling on behalf of lower taxes, less government and expanded individual liberty.

Unfortunately, he’s had to fight his own fiscally liberal party at every step of the way.

Davis has also driven the debate on many issues rejected by ranking “Republicans” – including the push to legalize cannabis for medical purposes.  This fight in particular pitted the 57-year-old lawmaker against GOP leaders, who continue to rebuke this common sense reform.

Davis’ decision to stay out of the race is a boon to Catherine Templeton, a political newcomer and attorney from Mount Pleasant, S.C. who has emerged as the early alternative to incumbent “Republican” Henry McMaster.

Most political analysts believed Davis would erode her potential base of support.

His decision not to run is also likely to benefit sitting lieutenant governor Kevin Bryant of Anderson, S.C., who served alongside Davis in the State Senate prior to his “ascension” to the No. 2 office in the state back in January.

Templeton, McMaster, Bryant and former lieutenant governor Yancey McGill are the only announced candidates for the GOP nomination.  Three Democrats – former minority leader James Smith, State Senator John Scott and state representative Justin Bamberg have signaled their interest in running, but none have filed paperwork to run or formally announced their intentions.



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