I appreciate the opportunity you’ve given me to be here with you today.
I am grateful for the work and passion you have given to this party. There are a lot of places you could be and things you could be doing today. But because each of you are so dedicated to this party and making our lives the best they can be, you’ve chosen to be here and invest in the future of our state.
It’s that dedication and your efforts that allow every South Carolinian to live in a state with conservative principals. As a businessperson, as a mom, and as South Carolinian – I thank you for that.
I know many of you, but there are many of you I’m meeting for the first time. So please allow me to introduce myself very briefly. First, I’ll prove I’m not a politician because I’m going to keep my remarks short.
My home has always been South Carolina – born here, raised here. I grew up in Lexington, worked, lived, and went to school in the upstate, and I am raising my three children with my husband, Morgan, who is from Charleston.
And up until today, I’ve been smart enough to never run for office…
Because, in SC, we work hard, we grow our families, we take care of ourselves – and the government doesn’t have a place in our daily lives.
I don’t use the word “conservative” as a label or a campaign slogan. I’m pro-life because of my miraculously healthy twins. I’m pro-Second Amendment because I’m a hunter and I’ve had a concealed weapons permit for years. And I’m anti-union/pro-jobs because I saw firsthand what it meant for people to lose their jobs and what it means to their families to keep them.
My first job was in the inspection department of a weave mill in Jonesville, SC. Working there we knew that when we did a good job, we got rewarded. And when we didn’t, we got fired. We never looked to someone else to take care of us. We never expected something for nothing. I worked hard. I rotated shifts, worked overtime, and at the end of the day was proud of the work we’d done.
Back in 1993, our textile jobs were going to Mexico. I saw first hand how it devastated families in Jonesville and Lockhart. My boss, Mr. Roger Milliken, encouraged me to go to law school. So, I took what I had earned from my job at the mill and paid my way through school. My experiences in that factory shaped who I am today and how I live my life. I didn’t want to ever see families have to go through the pain of losing their livelihoods.
So, back then, I made a promise to myself that I would use the law school education I was able to pay for from working in that mill to fight for South Carolina jobs.
I spent the next 20 years doing just that – fighting labor unions all over the nation, advising fortune 500 companies, and eventually being your labor secretary. Governor Haley asked me to defend South Carolina jobs against outsiders from Washington and the Obama administration back when she was first elected. The AFL-CIO was so upset that they sued me personally and in my official capacity. When we were done with them, SC jobs stayed here, and even grew. I never backed down, and I was proud to serve and protect the people of our state.
Before Governor Haley asked me to serve, I was busy doing what Southern women do. I was on the Boy Scout board and the PTA. I was the Sunday school coordinator, in the garden club, and the foundation treasurer for the Museum of Art. I’ve never been active in politics because, honestly, I thought most politicians were ineffective or dishonest. And as my friends will tell you, I could never be a politician because I’m not very politically correct.
Politicians will tell you what you want to hear. I will tell you the truth.
The truth in SC is that we are number one in criminal domestic violence and dead last in education. We have more growth than our infrastructure can handle, more jobs than people who want to work – and the jobs we have are being taken by people from out of state. We are sending our money to Columbia and we aren’t getting what we paid for.
We all want the same things.
We want to be safe.
We want our kids and grandkids to reach their God-given potential.
We want to make a good living – and not have that good living taken from us for wasteful things.
And we want to do what we want to do unless it hurts someone else.
We ought to have that. All of us.
And while there are a lot of things the government shouldn’t be doing, keeping us safe, educating our kids, and building our roads are absolutely what we pay for and expect.
We are not going to have that as long as we have people in Columbia who care more about lining their pockets than protecting ours. We need people who haven’t made politics their career. We need people who don’t need the job. We need people who won’t be running for the next office instead of doing the job we elected them to do.
What is Einstein’s definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? We have to stop allowing the corrupt good old boy system to be in charge of our children and our pocket books.
It is time for common sense and math. Someone who will call balls and strikes. An outsider who wants to drain the swamp, but has been on the inside just enough to actually know how to do it.
I’m not running against anyone for Governor. I’m running FOR Governor… Because I’m running FOR my kids and yours, FOR our state, FOR our values, FOR our jobs. I’m Catherine Templeton – its time for one of us to run for Governor for all of us.
Thank you, and I look forward to earning your trust and your vote.