Candidates

The below are candidates, supported by the SC Equality PAC, who stand on the side of these court verdicts and will uphold the marriage equality rights of LGBT citizens. On November 4th take a stand for yourself, your loved ones, family members, and friends and vote for those on the RIGHT side of the law and of history!

You can also download your own printer-friendly guide here to take with you to the polls.

Statewide Office

Governor | Vincent Sheheen:
State Senator Vincent Sheheen, a native of Camden who has served a prosecutor and a business owner, is a strong advocate for fairness and of civil rights, most especially those issues and rights that directly impact the LGBT community.  He strongly opposes workplace and various forms of public facility discrimination as targeted at LGBT persons, he supported the right of same sex couples to receive federal benefits, he endorses anti-bullying legislation that includes LGBT students, and fully accepts the rulings of the federal courts with regards to marriage equality in light of his own views a faithful Catholic.  Whereas Governor Haley and Attorney General Alan Wilson have vowed to fight on, Governor Sheheen would enforce what federal courts have upheld regarding the right of same sex couples the right to marry.  More broadly, candidate Sheheen directly informed the SC Equality PAC Board that, “I learned early on that discrimination in the workplace, schools, and public facilities is unacceptable and it has not place in our laws and public policy.  No person should have to face discrimination in their education, employment, housing, and public policies, and I proud to fight for the equal rights under the law for all of South Carolina’s hardworking citizens. Every South Carolinian, regardless of sexual orientation, race, religion, gender identity, creed, or gender should be treated with equal dignity and respect.” He greeted SC Pride celebrants at both the 2013 and 2014 Pride Festivals in downtown Columbia to discuss with voters how he is an ally to the LGBT community. [Open Letter of Support]

Lieutenant Governor | Bakari Sellers:
State Representative Bakari Sellers, who hails from Denmark, has civil rights in his blood and is an inherent ally and supporter of equality.  His father, Cleveland Sellers, was a leading civil rights organizer in South Carolina and through the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.  And in 1969, Cleveland Sellers was arrested and later imprisoned because of being falsely blamed for instigating the police massacre of protesting African American Students in Orangeburg who were simply against the segregation of a bowling alley.  Thus Bakari has an abiding commitment to civil rights as evidenced by his directly informing SC Equality that he supports marriage equality.  He stated about the recently ruling where the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appellate cases challenging marriage equality in the 4th Circuit, “It’s time that we inject some common sense. These laws have dropped all across the country and been deemed unconstitutional. It’s my hope that we would use the millions spent defending (gay marriage ban) lawsuits on roads, bridges, schools and seniors, items that affect the lives of everyday South Carolinians.”  Sellers also stated to the SC Equality PAC Board that he is against workplace as well as housing discrimination against LGBT people as well as discrimination against LGBT people in education.  He appeared at the 2014 SC Pride celebration as one of the featured speakers in Columbia and gave precisely this same message to the thousands gathered there.

Secretary of State | Ginny Deerin:
Ginny Deerin is a businesswoman and nonprofit leader who The New York Times has hailed as a progressive Democrat who is shaking things up by gaining support from a wide sector of South Carolinians – Republicans and Democrats.  She has a no-nonsense approach to the office, which she believes should be appointed by the governor, and wants to fundamentally cut waste – even doing a marathon bake ride followed by a large pair of scissors to demonstrate her point.  She told the thousands assembled as the 2014 SC Pride celebration what she told the SC Equality PAC Board.  The office of Secretary of State does not directly impact issues that affect the civil rights of LGBT people; but she would be a constitutional officer of the state who is not shy about her personal support of marriage equality and her unequivocal opposition to workplace, housing, and educational discrimination against LGBT people.  She believes that South Carolinians respect candidates and office-holders who clearly state their minds even when there are differences of opinion.

Attorney General | Parnell Diggs:
Parnell Diggs, who lives in Garden City, is an attorney who both in private practice and in his public service believes in standing up for those society has marginalized.  Born blind due to detached retinas this prominent attorney who has represented clients at all levels of the South Carolina judicial system served as President of the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina and was appointed by Governor Jim Hodges to South Carolina Commission for the Blind.  Diggs informed the SC Equality PAC Board that he wants LGBT citizens to consider him an Attorney General who would be an ally.  He asserted that he would not be an Alan Wilson and is not only directly opposed to the lawsuit the present Attorney General has against marriage equality, but Diggs is a strong supporter of marriage equality.  He said to, “Our nation is moving toward fairness and equality on the issue of marriage, and this trend is reflected in court decisions around the nation including the 4th Circuit. It is time for Alan Wilson to read the writing on the wall.”  He understands the LGBT struggle, he informed us, because he knows what it means to be marginalized.  He also reassured us that as a strong supporter of the civil rights of all South Carolinians, he is against workplace discrimination, housing discrimination, and educational discrimination in their various forms.  As Attorney General would guarantee all have ‘equality before the law.

Comptroller General | Kyle Herbert:
Kyle Herbert is a Columbia-based CPA who works for Palmetto Health.  He wants to bring back accountability to this office to ensure the financial well-being of the state and the tax dollars the citizens, including LGBT citizens, have entrusted to it.  He is critical of the present Comptroller General, Richard Eckstrom, because he believes he has mishandled state business and lost all citizens, including LGBT citizens, tax dollars in the process.  The office of Comptroller General does not have duties that directly impact the civil rights LGBT people but Herbert has a personal ethic of fairness and inclusivity and this means he would treat all people with dignity and respect.  In short, like Ginny Deerin, he would be another constitutional office of the state of South Carolina who believes that LGBT citizens, taxypayers, and residents should get equal consideration under the law.  He told the SC Equality PAC Board that he is a supporter of marriage equality, and he likewise supports fairness for LGBT people in the workplace, in housing, and in educational settings.  He feels personally accountability to an ethic of fairness and respect for all.

Superintendent of Education | Tom Thompson:
Dr. Tom Thompson, who lives in Columbia with his family, has worked in education for many years of his life -- from being an elementary school math teacher in Chicago to working as an administrator in the South Carolina Department of Education.  He is running for the post of superintendent of education, because he believes in educational opportunities for all children, most especially to LGBT young people and students. He is a strong advocate for diversity.  He says of his motivation for running for the office, “I want every child to be whatever she/he wants to be and to be good at it.  I want to be the state’s Top Teacher and be the catalyst that fuels the dreams of every student in South Carolina – a poster-child for infinite possibilities.”  Dr. Thompson told the SC Equality PAC Board that he endorses anti-bullying legislations overall, but especially against LGBT students, because he feels it is not only fundamentally unfair but is a distraction to the learning process.  He also informed us that he is for fairness outside of the classroom, in the larger society.  He is against workplace discrimination as well as against housing discrimination that impacts LGBT citizens.  He would be a state constitutional officer in charge of one of the most important functions of all – education – who believes LGBT families and citizens deserve equal treatment by state agencies.

 

House Districts

Tombo Hite
District 11

Marian Redish
District 15

Shelia Antley Counts
District 33

Joe McCulloch
District 75

Beth Bernstein
District 78

Vida Miller
District 108