The Road Less Traveled
Tempel rebounds from court ruling, returns as Independant
By Charlie Morrison
The year in Palmetto State politics has already been a wild ride, and the November campaign season hasn’t even warmed up yet. In May, the S.C. Supreme Court stripped hundreds of candidates across the state of their party certification, effectively striking their name from respective 2012 Republican and Democratic primary ballots. Their crime was failing to file required income disclosure forms, or filing them late.
One of the candidates stripped of her place on the ballot was James Island’s Carol Tempel. She was set to oppose incumbent Peter McCoy, a Republican, in the race for the S.C. House District 115 seat, when the ruling came down unanimously from the S.C. Supreme Court barring her from appearing on the ballot as a Democrat. Tempel, unlike dozens of other candidates throughout the state, decided to get back in the race.
Tempel re-branded herself a petition candidate, and an Independent to get back into the fight. According the Tempel, the ‘(I)’ next to her name on the ballot ticket isn’t significant. What is, says Tempel, is getting new leadership in the House 115 seat. “I have said from the very beginning, when I made this decision to run, that this race is not about me — I don’t need the job. This race is not about me, it’s about our future.”
Tempel easily eclipsed the 1,400 signatures required by the State to get back on the ballot, a task no candidate can accomplish alone. With that in mind, Tempel held a rally at James Island’s Brick House Kitchen to thank supporters for their continued contributions to her campaign.
“Seventy volunteers stepped up in three short weeks and got over 2,200 signatures when we only needed 1,400. You can imagine the work going on it took to make that happen. It was quite an achievement, to do that in three weeks and I’m very grateful,” said Tempel to the dozens of volunteers, constituents, family, and friends in a attendance at last Wednesday’s event.
“I’ve never been a quitter and I’ve learned how to challenge the status quo. Most of you know my background in education and business, and you know I have a strong commitment to giving back to this community,” said Tempel. “I’m asking you now for your commitment. I need your help in reaching other voters. This is a huge task. What do I need? I need your voice on the phone and your feet on the ground out there to simply talk with your neighbors.”
Tempel had a special guest in attendance for the rally, U.S. Congressional candidate Bobbie Rose, a Democrat running for the S.C. First Congressional District seat currently held by Republican Tim Scott. “It’s funny that I’m here, so close to Folly Beach. When I was 10 I saw the ocean for the first time at Folly Beach,” said Rose. “That’s when I fell in love w/ S.C., and that’s when I decided this would be my home — I don’t know if you guys can remember how that felt to see the ocean for the first time, but I was awestruck. I looked at that and said, ‘oh my God, anything is possible, if something like this can exist, anything is possible.’ So this long, winding road through teaching, and (real estate) brokering, and business and child advocacy let me from that beach to this stage running against Tim Scott because I still believe anything is possible.”
The focus of Tempel’s platform is improving the quality of education throughout the state, as well as bettering the job outlook for un- and under-employed South Carolinians. And while the nuts and bolts of her campaign, education, jobs and the economy, aren’t unique, Temple believes she offers something to the State House her opponent does not, a different perspective on the issues from his peers, not a stretch, considering the State House is dominated by Republicans and ranks the lowest state in the nation with respect to women in government.
Check on the status of your voter registration and learn more about the November general elections in S.C., see www.scvotes.org. For more information on Carol Tempel, see www.caroltempel.com. Bobbie Rose’ campaign website can be found at www.bobbierose.us.