Grassroots Get-together

Grassroots Get-together

McCoy, Tempel combative, professional at JIM-sponsored candidate forum

By Charlie Morrison

Community Editor

In their first and only public opportunity, S.C. House District 115 Republican incumbent candidate Rep. Peter McCoy and his opponent, petition candidate Carol Tempel presented their respective platforms to the public last Thursday evening, during a James Island Messenger-sponsored candidate Forum held at James Island Town Hall. The hour-long forum featured ten questions put to the candidates in alternate question and response format, with answers limited to two minutes and opening and closing statements set at four minutes. The fast-paced affair saw both McCoy and Tempel address a number of issues facing the recently expanded district, which now includes barrier islands Kiawah and Seabrook, and present their individual plans to act, if elected on November 6.

The meeting was well attended with voters from James Island, Johns Island and Folly Beach, as well as both Kiawah and Seabrook Islands, all of which are now contained withing the district. In all, the island and region’s political spirit was on display, as in upwards of 75 lively locals attended the forum. JIM publisher Lorne Chambers kicked off the evening’s discussion, by first thanking the Town of James Island and Mayor Bill Woolsey, who stepped away from James Island’s political mainstage in playing hosts for the evening.

The dominant topic of the forum proved to be jobs and the local economy, with each candidate offering respective, differing solutions to bringing jobs to the Lowcountry. McCoy touted his first-term record as business friendly and common-sense, while Tempel challenged the Republican on the methodology for local job growth, the roots of which,  Tempel argued lie in education at the state and local level.

The seat offers a two-year term, with Rep. McCoy hoping to become the first incumbant to hold on to his seat since Rep. Wallace Scarborough, who lost to challenger Anne Peterson Hutto in the tightly contested 2008 race. Hutto in turn lost to McCoy in 2010. That this election cycle even features a choice was in doubt, as Tempel’s candidacy was stricken along with hundreds of others throughout the state in a document filing snafu that reverberated across the state. Tempel recovered, collecting the necessary signatures to refile as a petition candidate, where she will be located on the ballot.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6. For more information on registration or to find your polling location, see the State Election Commission’s website at

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