This is an important campaign announcement from SC candidate for Governor Gary Votour and candidate for Lt. Governor Harold Geddings. On Feb. 1st , 2022 we will be formally withdrawing from the Democratic Primary election for Governor.
Before the Covid pandemic began over two years ago, I decided to enter the race for Governor of South Carolina. It is my belief the path to victory in this race requires a candidate that stands firm on several issues of importance to the people of our state. The expansion of Medicaid, protecting the rights of all South Carolinians, and standing for an actual living wage for everyone have been at the forefront of my campaign. My decision to select a former Labor Party candidate and Union member, Harold Geddings, as my running mate reflects those goals.
Although the Democratic Party of South Carolina has embraced those positions in its party platform, it now falls short of these goals by refusing to require that all candidates for state office running as Democratic Party candidates do so as well. In particular, I am referring to former Congressman Cunningham, who refuses to stand for a living wage of at least $15 per hour for all South Carolinians. As our Representative in Congress, he actually voted against raising the Federal minimum wage to $15 in 2020.
One of the reasons for a party platform that is accepted by all candidates running within that party is to create a level playing field that will allow anyone to run for office. By refusing to adhere to this important party platform issue, Mr. Cunningham has created great division within the Democratic Party. Many people believe he has put "Low Country Over Party". I believe he has also gained a fund-raising advantage when pursuing donors, in particular those businesses in the tourism and restaurant industry. Many business owners do not want to embrace this vital change in how the essential workers in their industries are compensated, so they back the candidate that will protect their own profitability.
Trav Robertson, the SC Democratic Party chair, has introduced me as the Party's "moral compass", and I have taken that responsibility quite seriously. When I asked Chairperson Robertson if they would disallow Mr. Cunningham from formally filing as a Democratic candidate next month if he did not support a Living Wage of $15 an hour, he told me that the fear of a potential lawsuit prevents that action.
Harold and I stand firm in our belief that the path to success in this race is to represent all of the people of South Carolina with a message of hope... Hope for a state where all will be treated equally, hope for a race where a candidate's beliefs are not bought by corporate donors, and where party positions represent the will of the people and are not controlled by fear of litigation.
Today, we rescind our notice of intent to run as a Democratic party candidate for Governor of SC, and file instead to be the Labor Party candidate. We have spent all campaign donations received to date running as Democratic candidates, and have closed our ActBlue account. You can still donate to our campaign at www.gary4govsc.com, and we continue to run with the exact same platform... A platform of the people, for the people, by the people. We will continue to turn down donations from corporate lobbyists and PACs.
We will not be bought, because We See You, South Carolina. We are you.
Get vaccinated, wear a mask in public places,
and let's protect each other as we move forward together!
Stay safe, be blessed!
I'm Gary Votour and I approve this message.