NEWBERRY — Lieutenant governor candidate Mike Campbell campaigned in Newberry last Monday as part of his seven-day tour of the state’s 46 counties. He described the journey as a hand shaking tour where he could meet the people and listen to them.
Campbell touted his combination of business acumen and being a fresh, but familiar face in Columbia as reasons he is running for office.
“Small businesses provide seven of every 10 jobs in the state. I can identify with small business struggles because (I have been there),” the Republican said. “Most businesses fail within a year so I believe we don’t need government regulation to place unfair burden on business and I propose we create an environment to make businesses thrive, not hinder them.”
He said part of that includes streamlining the permitting process.
Campbell said he feels a connection to the work of his father, the late Gov. Carol Campbell, and said he will work to support Gov. Nikki Haley’s efforts at government restructuring, something he said began under his father’s leadership.
Campbell said having oversight for the S.C. Office on Aging is a personal passion and what he feels is his calling. His father was diagnosed and passed away from Alzheimer’s disease and during that ordeal Mike Campbell said he became more involved with the S.C. Alzheimer’s Association, creating a respite program for caregivers, the Carol Campbell Respite program for South Carolina.
He said the cause is personal to him as it is to Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell, who lost his wife to Alzheimer’s.
Campbell said 60 percent of primary caregivers in South Carolina die before the person they care for does. He saw the toll it took on his mother as she cared for his father and knew firsthand the painful decision of placing a loved one in a facility that can provide care around the clock.
If elected, Campbell said a focus of his will be preventing senior citizens from becoming lost in the shuffle. He sees the office as needed to improve its ability to be a central source of information for seniors about a variety of topics from dementia to Alzheimer’s and more. He said the technology exists but has a vision for ways to make the online presence more user friendly and informative.
Campbell has never held elected office. He’s been a small businessman his entire life, at one point owning a chain of Wendy’s restaurants including one in Newberry.
“I’ve been around government my whole life and believe I can relate to the state from day one,” he said.