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#SC2018: Tom Davis Lends Freedom, Free Market Backing To John Warren



The leading pro-taxpayer, pro-liberty member of the South Carolina General Assembly has weighed in on the 2018 GOP governor’s race … and he’s going with Upstate businessman John Warren.

State senator Tom Davis – whose principled advocacy on behalf of citizens and taxpayers has been among the few bright spots in Columbia, S.C. since “Republicans” took over – said on Wednesday that Warren’s public policy positions “most closely align with my own.”

That’s a statement likely to hold tremendous sway with fiscally conservative, socially moderate libertarian-leaning GOP voters – many of whom were disappointed Davis didn’t run for governor himself.

Warren and incumbent governor Henry McMaster go head-to-head next Tuesday with the GOP nomination on the line.  The winner will battle Democrat James Smith in November.

Davis’ endorsement comes as no surprise.  He has praised Warren previously, and has been critical of McMaster’s failure to lead on issues that matter to taxpayers.

According to Davis, McMaster “failed to advocate for the reforms our state desperately needs in regard to the road-expenditure process and the pension – two of the most important issues that have taken up by the General Assembly during the time he has served as governor.”

Specifically, Davis highlighted what he referred to as McMaster’s “drive-by veto” of the 2017 gas tax increase – which the third-term lawmaker from Beaufort, S.C. fought valiantly to filibuster.

“Not only did he fail to try and any build support for his gas-tax veto – I’ve yet to hear of even one instance where he met with a legislator to try and garner support for having his veto sustained – he did not provide those of us willing to fight for taxpayers with the chance to do so in his absence,” Davis said.  “He simply ‘checked the box’ by vetoing the bill as quickly as possible and returning it to the General Assembly for an equally quick override, even though I and other reform-minded legislators asked him to delay issuing his veto so that we had a full two weeks to rally support for it being sustained.”

Was Davis right?  Absolutely … 

News of Davis’ endorsement of Warren was first reported by Meg Kinnard of The Associated Press.

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In a statement, Davis chided McMaster for what he called “a reluctance to challenge the powerful status quo interests in Columbia and to insist upon wiser spending of the taxpayers’ money.”

“Opportunities for real reform in South Carolina, given the tremendous power wielded by the General Assembly and the power of entrenched special interests, are few and far between, and when they are presented they simply must not be squandered,” he said.  “From everything I’ve learned about John Warren during the primary process, he will not whiff on chances like this, and that’s why he’s earned my support.”

We agree … which is why we are likely to lend Warren our imprimatur as well …



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