South Carolina Chamber of Commerce throws support behind Gov. Nikki Haley
South Carolina’s leading business organization has taken a side in the gubernatorial contest between current Republican Gov. Nikki Haley and her Democratic challenger state Sen. Vincent Sheheen.
Haley spent Thursday traveling to four cities across the state with representatives of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce to accept the organization’s endorsement of her campaign.
State Republican Party Chairman Matt Moore released a statement praising the chamber’s support, citing Haley’s commitment to opposing unions and Obama care, and supporting tort reform.
“The choice is clear: A vote for Governor Haley is a vote for our state’s families and businesses; but a vote for Vince Sheheen is a vote against our families and businesses and for trial lawyers and liberal special interests,” Moore said.
The endorsement did not go unnoticed by Sheheen’s campaign or the state Democratic Party.
Party spokesperson Kristin Sosanie sent out an email with a link to an article from 2010 where Haley’s spokesman criticized the chamber’s support of challengers Gresham Barrett and Sheheen.
Sheheen criticized the announcement saying it “continues an unfortunate trend in their decision-making that favors big, out-of-state corporations at the expense of South Carolina’s small businesses.”
“I have spent my career working to improve South Carolina’s overall business climate by investing in education, supporting improvements to our state’s infrastructure, and fighting against bad tax policies that have stunted business growth,” Sheheen said.
Some in the small business communities got behind Sheheen’s argument that Haley’s policies have failed to support small businesses and incentivize their growth. Owners are looking for a leader to develop a long term economic plan that boosts small businesses, which many consider the backbone of communities.
“He has spoken out in favor of bringing South Carolina’s tax dollars back here to protect our hospitals, create jobs, and help more working South Carolinians get access to affordable health insurance,” said Scott Middleton, CEO of Agape Senior and a member of the South Carolina Chamber Board of Directors. “When the Chamber needed leaders to speak out against the foolish, partisan nullification effort, it was Vincent Sheheen who spoke out for business interests, while Governor Haley played politics and stayed quiet. There is no doubt in my mind that the candidate best equipped to lead South Carolina’s economy in the years ahead is Vincent Sheheen.”