NEWBERRY — Catherine Templeton, gubernatorial candidate, stopped by Newberry on Thursday for a visit to the Newberry Opera House and to speak to the Newberry County Republican Party.
“We have 25 days until we have to pick a governor, and nobody running has ever been elected, at this point everybody is starting to pay attention and decide who they want best to lead us into the future,” Templeton said. “My background is pretty simple, I grew up in Columbia, lived, worked and went to school in the upstate, and raised my children in Charleston with my husband.”
Templeton said Gov. Nikki Haley brought her to the table, so to speak.
“I’ve worked, I’ve never run for anything, I’m a mom. Gov. Haley kinda pulled me out of the private sector because she wanted me to fight labor unions, specifically when Boeing came. That’s what I did, I rotated shifts, went to law school and then fought for jobs, so it was pretty easy for her to pull me in,” she said. “When I got there we won the battle, and no good deed goes unpunished, she then asked me to take over the State’s most cumbersome agency, DHEC. I spent four years total standing with Gov. Haley while we fought insurance bureaucrats, we fought corrupt good ol’ boys, we fought Liberal waste and when I was finished I went back home, and then she left.”
During the time Templeton worked with Haley, she said she left her five year old twins and seven year old to serve. She added that she did not work as hard as she did, and get as much done as she did, to go backwards without Haley.
“I’m here to make sure someone who can’t be bought, who doesn’t owe any favors, a Conservative outsider, not part of the corruption probes. We will serve our state,” she said.
Templeton mentioned how South Carolina is at the bottom in education, first in criminal domestic violence, along with other state issues.
“In Charleston the bridges are literally falling down, the roads are crumbling and none of this is going to be fixed if we continue to do the same thing. It’s time for new leadership,” she said.
One issue Templeton discussed during her Newberry visit were the issues in South Carolina prisons, specifically cell phones.
“Last July a prisoner jumped the fence, called his buddy on his cell phone to come get him, and the government didn’t find him for four days or so, over our July 4, and they found him in Texas,” Templeton said. “That’s when I called for jamming cell phones. A guard got in trouble recently for bringing in contraband, including cell phones. The Department of Corrections said one of the reasons for the riots, where inmates were killed, was because of fights over territory and cell phones.”
“Our governor will not jam the cell phones, the technology is available, he will not jam the cell phones because there are some federal bureaucrats that are paid for by the cell phone lobby who don’t like it. I don’t care about them, I care about the safety of South Carolina,” she added.
Over the years, according to Templeton, a few things have happened in South Carolina that have created the situation the state is in.
“We have plenty of money, but we don’t spend it on safety, infrastructure and education. So we are not paying the guards, so they are then taking bribes,” Templeton said. “Our prison population has actually decreased, but we are having these problems because we don’t have laws in place any longer to contain this.”
Another issue she discussed was the death penalty in South Carolina. She said inmates get to choose if they want lethal injection or the electric chair.
“Well, if you get to choose and you know lethal injection is unavailable because the governor can’t get those drugs in here, then we just don’t have the death penalty. So I said bring back the firing squad, it needs to be swift and final,” Templeton said. “Our solicitors are not even asking for the death penalty anymore, because they know the governor won’t carry it out, that’s inexcusable for the governor, who was the attorney general.”
Visit to Newberry
When it comes to Newberry, Templeton said she has spent a lot of Sundays in Newberry during her college days at Wofford College.
“My best friend, in fact the godmother of my oldest, grew up here, Molly Hughes. Her parents were pillars of the community, lived right downtown. We came here to wash clothes, and for Sunday dinner, just to get some home,” she said. “Every single sweet gift my daughter gets comes from somewhere in Newberry. Newberry has always had a draw for me. Wonderful to be here, I think candidates go to Spartanburg and Greenville, and go to Lexington and Richland, I don’t think they realize the importance of the Conservative fabric of Newberry.”