Republican candidates square off in SC gubernatorial debate

The candidates includied Lt. Governor Kevin Bryant, former Lt. Governor Yancey McGill, former Secretary of Labor Catherine Templeton and businessman John Warren (WPDE)

Wednesday night, the republican candidates participated in a gubernatorial debate at the College at Charleston, Stern Center Ballroom.

The candidates, including Lt. Governor Kevin Bryant, former Lt. Governor Yancey McGill, former Secretary of Labor Catherine Templeton and businessman John Warren discussed three issues impacting the Grand Strand and Pee Dee: How to bring jobs to a rural economy, how to make communities better prepared for storms and how to make schools safer.

"The way to stop an active shooter is to shoot back. That's why we never see these shootings in places like gun clubs. We see them in gun-free zones," said Bryant.

The other candidates discussed keeping schools safe and all statements included armed officers.

"I'm telling you now, a lot that occurs is cause we don't look and listen to what we're being told. Do we need security officers in the school? I'd say yes," said McGill.

"One entrance. And there should be an armed guard at that entrance. And that will offer a lot deterrents," said Warren.

"I'm terrified of school violence. I'm terrified of a school shooter. But what makes me feel more comfortable is knowing that we will have an armed law enforcement guard in every school if I'm governor," said Templeton.

The debate shifted from staying safe in schools to staying safe in storms. With hurricane season two weeks away, here's what the candidates had to say about the state improving infrastructure and making communities better prepared.

"It is so important for us to have a governor who understands how to keep us safe. It is so important for us to have a governor who's actually been one of us and worked and had a real job," said Templeton.

"There are agencies in this state that are so washed in money, they don't need to come back for years. If anything, we need to see a five to seven percent reduction in these particular agencies," said McGill.

"The DOT needs to be a cabinet level agency under the governor so the taxpayer knows who to hold accountable," said Bryant.

"I continue to believe that the DOT needs restructuring as well, but what was mentioned was a natural disaster such as a hurricane. And in those times we need real leadership," said Warren.

The candidates also debated how to bring jobs to the rural part of our state including parts of the Pee Dee.

"Right now there are only eight states with higher taxes than South Carolina. That's shameful. We are a very conservative state an what do we get for those taxes? Not a lot," said Warren.

"We need to eliminate the income tax and we need to stop micromanaging small businesses. I have a small business myself," said Bryant.

"The inland port is great because a lot of states will feed in and take these tractor trailers off the highway and it will help by rail to bring these vehicles in that exported all the time," said McGill.

"Now that we've brought in all these jobs but our people have to take our jobs. And so we have to prepare South Carolinians to take the jobs we've brought in. That means we bring shop back," said Templeton.

The South Carolina gubernatorial election will take place on Nov. 6, 2018.

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