BUFFALO — Democratic gubernatorial candidate State Sen. Vincent Sheheen will bring his campaign for governor to Union County Saturday afternoon during a “meet and greet” at Midway BBQ hosted by the Union County Democratic Party.
Party Chairman Ted Trantham said Tuesday that the event will begin at 1 p.m. with the serving of lunch. Trantham said no admission will be charged and the lunch is free. He said that Sheehen will then meet and speak with those present.
Trantham said the party is hosting the event to give the people of Union County the opportunity to meet Sheheen and get to know more about him and his stands on the issues.
Sheheen, who was the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2010, is making his second bid for governor. The November election will be a rematch between Sheheen and Gov. Nikki Haley, a Republican, who narrowly defeated him in 2010.
The Sheheen campaign website (vincentsheheen.com) states that if elected governor, Sheheen will, in the area of economic development and job creation, push to lower the industrial property tax; streamline worker training; make technical college education affordable so as to provide training for the workers of tomorrow; review and revise existing workforce incentives to help existing businesses grow; and focus on small business by working with local communities to develop entrepreneur-friendly environments that link and provide resources for new businesses.
In the area of education, Sheheen wants to make voluntary 4-year-old-kindergarten part of the curriculum in every school district; reduce paperwork for teachers; lower college tuition rates; and require child care centers to publicly post their ratings for the safety and quality of the facility.
To support the state’s rural communities, Sheheen proposes supporting the expansion of agricultural packaging and processing; improving rural infrastructure like roads, water, and sewer that new businesses need to open; and investing in rural education to attract high-quality teachers to those communities.
Sheheen proposes to reform state government by reducing the number of constitutional state offices beginning with the abolition of the Comptroller General’s office and merging its duties with other offices; eliminating the Secretary of State’s office and turning its duties over to the Attorney General’s office; and changing the Adjutant General, State Superintendent of Education, and Commissioner of Agriculture from elected to appointed positions.
In addition, Sheheen would also abolish the SC Budget and Control Board and reassign its duties to a cabinet-level Department of Administration. He would also fully fund the Office of Inspector General to increase government accountability and seek out government waste, fraud, and abuse.
A native of Camden, Sheheen is the son of Fred Sheheen, the former executive director of the SC Commission on Higher Education, and the nephew of former Speaker of the SC House of Representatives Robert Sheheen.
Sheheen received a Bachelor’s Degree from Clemson University and studied law at the University of South Carolina School of Law.
In 2000, Sheheen was elected to the SC House District 52 seat which he held until his election to the SC Senate District 27 seat in 2004. As a member of the state legislature, Sheheen has worked to create a conservation land bank to preserve thousands of acres of land; worked to expand access to kindergarten for 4-year-olds, successfully expanding the 4k program to 17 additional counties in 2013; and, when then-governor Mark Sanford rejected $700 million in federal stimulus funds, lead the fight to have the legislature bypass Sanford and accept the money.
Most recently, Sheheen has been working to secure passage of a bipartisan ethics reform package that would require former legislators to wait eight years after leaving office to register as lobbyists.
Prior to being elected to the state legislature, Sheheen served as a city prosecutor and after being elected to the legislator was named “Legislator of the Year” by the South Carolina Solicitor’s Association for his work on behalf of law enforcement.
In addition to being an attorney and a legislator, Sheheen is a businessman, owning and operating a small commercial real estate firm.
Sheheen is married and he and his wife, Amy, have three children. The family lives in Camden where Sheeheen is active in the local Rotary Club, his church, and works as a volunteer reader in local elementary schools.