Upon careful consideration of the merits of both tickets, The Daily Gamecock endorses James Smith and Mandy Powers Norrell for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively. We believe that Smith adequately addressed many of the issues that we, as students and young adults, care about deeply and offered policy positions that we can stand behind.
Smith’s stance on education is strong, and we particularly appreciate his intentions to lower tuition costs in South Carolina colleges and technical schools and to further invest in education infrastructure in the “corridor of shame” (a group of schools which have been routinely disenfranchised).
And, in light of recent mass shootings (especially those carried out in schools), we believe that Smith’s support for common sense gun control, including legislation to close the “Charleston loophole” and requiring background checks for private gun sales, are both a timely and appropriate solution to this delicate issue.
Furthermore, we believe that corruption in South Carolina’s government is a significant problem, and Smith’s plans to address the issue, especially his plan to eliminate the retrograde and unjust practice of gerrymandering, is superior to any comparable proposal from his opponent, incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster.
While we feel comfortable endorsing the Smith-Norrell ticket, we would like to add an addendum to our decision. Both Smith and McMaster are incredibly vague about issue positions on their websites.
We were not able to make comparisons between the two candidates on vital issues like immigration and sanctuary cities because (in this specific instance) Smith does not advertise an official position. Furthermore, even on the issue positions we support Smith on, we were not always able to determine how he would translate these positions into actual policy.
While this vagueness problem did not impact our ultimate decision to endorse Smith-Norrell, we believe it is important to consider on principle. Having an informed electorate is the bedrock of any democratic system.
Government officials cannot properly represent their constituents if their constituents are left in the dark. If candidates are unable or unwilling to provide the public with specific and substantive issue and policy information, then the political system as a whole will continue to suffer.