The Vote Smart Playbook for Picking SC's Conservative Legislators in 2024

The Vote Smart Playbook for Picking SC's Conservative Legislators in 2024

Published April 6, 2024

The South Carolina General Assembly is inching closer to a critical deadline: April 10. It's the make-or-break moment for legislation this session. If a bill hasn't danced its way to the other side of the Assembly by then, it's pretty much dead in the water. But don't let this fool you into thinking all hope is lost for certain bills. The Assembly has a knack for pulling rabbits out of hats, finding ways to get legislation across the finish line even when it seems too late.


Now, with the legislative hustle in the rearview, the real game begins: the 2024 General Assembly elections. Every seat’s on the line. If you're curious about who's throwing their hat in the ring, a quick scroll through Facebook will reveal the eager faces of those vying for a spot in the South Carolina House or Senate.

But why should you care? The power wielded by the General Assembly is monumental, impacting every facet of your life. From driving regulations to healthcare, education mandates to how your groceries get to the store, these laws frame your everyday existence. They don't hand out freedoms; they set the boundaries. Understanding the magnitude of this power is the first step in grasping the gravity of your vote.


So, how do you decide who deserves your vote for the House or Senate? If you're faced with an uncontested incumbent, the decision might appear straightforward. However, for us conservatives, the situation becomes more complex when your options are within the Republican camp, especially when incumbents face challengers. This scenario marks the start of the real intrigue. It's a pivotal moment that demands careful consideration and discernment from voters. TAKE YOUR TIME because you're selecting a steward of your values and beliefs. Therefore, it's imperative to scrutinize the candidates' platforms, their commitment to conservative principles, and their vision for your community and the state.


Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to rigorously vet these candidates. Analyzing their promises and past performances (if applicable) is crucial. For newcomers challenging established legislators, initiate a dialogue. Question them on conservative principles like limited government, fiscal responsibility, and adherence to both the U.S. and South Carolina Constitutions. Their campaign rhetoric should orbit these principles, offering clear strategies on defending them. Be wary of those preaching the gospel of new legislation as a panacea; this often contradicts the conservative mantra of limited government.

Here are five pointed questions to help you peel back the layers of their political personas:

  1. How have you consistently applied conservative principles in your past roles or initiatives?

  2. Can you provide specific examples of how you plan to promote limited government and fiscal responsibility if elected?

  3. How does your platform align with both the U.S. and South Carolina Constitutions, and can you cite examples?

  4. In what ways have you demonstrated a commitment to traditional conservative values in your career or campaign?

  5. How do you respond to new legislation that often expands government rather than streamlines it?

For incumbents, the task is somewhat simpler. Dive into their voting record. Our blog and the are treasure troves of information. Here's the litmus test: Did their votes champion the expansion of government or hike up taxes? A majority of recent bills, unfortunately, seem to have done just that. Engage these legislators in conversation. Seek out those who can justify their decisions without resorting to political double-speak.

To navigate this evaluation process, consider these five probing questions:

  1. How do you justify votes that have led to the expansion of government?

  2. Can you explain the instances where your decisions have resulted in increased taxes, and how do you defend those choices?

  3. What specific actions have you taken to streamline government and reduce fiscal waste?

  4. How do you reconcile conservative principles with votes that appear to contradict those values?

  5. Looking back, are there any votes you would change, and why?


Here's a bonus “how to vet” tip. If a candidate seems more interested in their personal narrative than in articulating a clear plan for action, consider that a red flag. Voting is about choosing someone who'll champion your needs, not their own agenda. A candidate worth your vote will lay out a concrete strategy for representation, not just offer a biography. Keep an ear out for substance over self-promotion—your vote deserves no less.

Choosing a legislator isn't about selecting the most charismatic candidate or the one with the glossiest campaign ads. It's about finding someone whose actions and intentions align with the principles you value. It's about digging deep, asking tough questions, and expecting genuine, straightforward answers. Remember, the decisions made in the South Carolina General Assembly ripple through every aspect of your life. Choose wisely.

Moreover, our state needs conservative legislators who won't capitulate to the compromises offered by lobbyists and special interest groups, or barter away our freedoms for the sake of their personal gain. The integrity of our representatives matters now more than ever. As voters, we must seek out those who stand firm on principles, resisting the allure of easy compromises that do not serve our best interests. This level of vigilance ensures that our elected officials truly represent us, upholding the values and freedoms we hold dear.

After all, aren't our life, liberty, and happiness worth the effort?

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