COLUMBIA, S.C. – A bipartisan coalition of law enforcement officials and solicitors from across the state – including 32 sheriffs and 10 solicitors – today endorsed Governor Henry McMaster for re-election. Praising the governor’s record of partnering with law enforcement and prosecutors, the coalition pledged to fight alongside the governor for another term to keep communities and families safe.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said, “Governor McMaster’s experience as a prosecutor makes him the kind of uncommonly strong partner we can trust to help us do our jobs. From fighting for law enforcement protective gear to law enforcement pay raises, we could not ask for more from a governor, and that is why we support him in this campaign.”
This week, the governor announced his public safety priorities for the upcoming legislative session. Those priorities include:
- Closing the revolving door for violent criminals.
- Keeping illegal guns away from criminals and juveniles.
- Reforming the magistrate process by raising qualifications, and making the process transparent and accountable.
Since taking office, the governor has made supporting law enforcement and public safety a focus. As governor, McMaster initiated a compensation analysis of all law enforcement positions at all state agencies. Based on the study’s recommendations, the latest budget provides $40 million in new dollars for law enforcement recruitment and retention pay raises, salary adjustments and additional benefits because these public servants deserve it.
The governor called for, and the General Assembly appropriated, $20 million to fund a body camera and protective vest grant program at the Department of Public Safety for local and county law enforcement agencies.
Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile said, “Unlike his opponent, Governor Henry McMaster has a proven record of standing beside law enforcement and putting criminals behind bars, as a former prosecutor. I’m proud to support Governor Henry McMaster.”
As violence in schools took the lives of students across the country, Governor McMaster acted to protect communities and schools.
Under the leadership of Gov. McMaster, South Carolina is putting Student Resource Officers in every school. The governor had the bold vision to use his 2018 State of the State address to call for SROs in every school, all day, every day. Since then, the number of SROs in schools has more than doubled: from an SRO in 406 out of the state’s 1,283 schools to 982.
“I am overwhelmed to have the support of the men and women in uniform who sacrifice each and every day as they protect communities across South Carolina,” said Gov. McMaster. “We owe them a debt of gratitude we can never truly repay. But what we can do is make sure they have what they need to do their jobs, and that is what I will always do as governor.”
Henry McMaster has unique insight into what makes the partnership between the state’s top executive and law enforcement work after having served as the most effective attorney general in South Carolina history.
As attorney general, Henry McMaster prosecuted violent criminals, including those who prey on children, and he put them in prison. He also established an innovative program in which he enlisted volunteer attorneys to prosecute domestic abusers, to help tackle the CDV backlog. The state’s conviction rate for domestic violence rose from 38% to 68% thanks to the vision and work of Attorney General McMaster. The attorney general also successfully prosecuted the largest white-collar securities fraud case – Carolina Investors/HomeGold – in state history, securing six indictments and six convictions.
Below is a full list of law enforcement officials who today endorsed the McMaster-Evette campaign:
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott
Horry County Sheriff Phillip E. Thompson
McCormick County Sheriff Clarke Stearns
Abbeville County Sheriff Ray Watson
Clarendon County Sheriff Tim Baxley
Aiken County Sheriff Michael E. Hunt
Anderson County Sheriff Chad McBride
Barnwell County Sheriff Steven W. Griffith
Colleton County Sheriff Guerry Lee “Buddy” Hill
Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis
Saluda County Sheriff Joshua S. “Josh” Price
Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright
Calhoun County Sheriff Thomas Summers
Greenwood County Sheriff Dennis Kelly
Dorchester County Sheriff L.C. Knight
Berkley County Sheriff Duane Lewis
Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster
Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark
Beaufort County Sheriff PJ Tanner
Fairfield County Sheriff Will Montgomery
Marion County Sheriff Brian Wallace
15th Judicial Circuit Solicitor Jimmy A. Richardson III
16th Judicial Circuit Solicitor Kevin S. Brackett
Cherokee County Sheriff Steve Mueller
Chester County Sheriff D. Max Dorsey
Edgefield County Sheriff Jody P. Rowland
Florence County Sheriff Thomas B. “TJ” Joye
Georgetown County Sheriff Carter Weaver
Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile
Laurens County Sheriff Don Reynolds
Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw
Kershaw County Sheriff Lee Boan
Lexington County Sheriff Bryan “Jay” Koon
York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson
2nd Judicial Circuit Solicitor Bill Weeks
6th Judicial Circuit Solicitor Randy E. Newman Jr.
7th Judicial Circuit Solicitor Barry J. Barnette
8th Judicial Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo
9th Judicial Circuit Solicitor Scarlett A. Wilson
10th Judicial Circuit Solicitor David R. Wagner Jr.
11th Judicial Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard III
14th Judicial Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone III