Home » CVSC Releases House Endorsements for Conservation Champions

CVSC Releases House Endorsements for Conservation Champions

COLUMBIA, SC—The Board of Directors of Conservation Voters of South Carolina (CVSC) is proud to announce its endorsement of a diverse group of State Representatives for the upcoming 2024 primary elections.

Since its inception in 2002, the Conservation Voters of South Carolina Political Action Committee (CVSC PAC) has been a pivotal player in South Carolina’s electoral politics, championing conservation across party lines. Our bipartisan approach has delivered substantial results, including investing over $900,000 over the past eight years to support 184 endorsed candidates, achieving an impressive 86% success rate. Notable successes include the defeat of Senator Lee Bright and election of Scott Talley in 2016, the defeat of Representative Phyllis Henderson and election of Bobby Cox in 2018, and the election of Senator Vernon Stephens in an open seat in 2020. CVSC is committed to endorsing candidates prioritizing the conservation and resiliency of South Carolina’s land, air, and water.

“South Carolina benefits when dedicated leaders who understand the importance of our natural resources are at the helm,” said John Tynan, President of CVSC. “These endorsements reflect our belief in the ability of these candidates to make informed decisions that will protect and enhance our state’s natural resources for generations to come.”

Each candidate has been selected for their unique qualifications, backgrounds, and alignment with conservation values:

  • Kyle White (R), District 6 (Anderson County): A lawyer and outdoorsman, White is challenging the incumbent who is not friendly to conservation.
  • Blake Sanders (R), District 9 (Anderson County): Sanders, former Mayor of West Pelzer and landscape architect, has worked directly on conservation projects and has great ideas for handling our state’s unprecedented growth.
  • JA Moore (D), District 15 (Berkeley & Charleston Counties): Rep. Moore stood with CVSC against House bill 5118, a bad energy bill, this session and has strong community support.
  • Tom Bates (R), District 17 (Greenville County): A businessman, Bates is actively involved in service throughout his community, including launching the Travelers Rest Police & Fire Foundation. He prioritizes the vitality of local communities.
  • Sarah Curran (R), District 20 (Greenville County): A fiscal conservative running in a competitive district, Curran works to thoroughly understand the issues and do what’s right for South Carolina.
  • Paul Wickensimer (R), District 22 (Greenville County): Wickensimer is a well-loved and respected community leader, formerly appointed to Greenville Clerk of Court by Governor Henry McMaster, who is supportive of land conservation and common sense energy production. 
  • Wendell Jones (D), District 25 (Greenville County): As a freshman representative, Jones has already worked to advocate with and for the conservation community.
  • David Martin (R), District 26 (York County): Born and raised in Fort Mill, Martin is an attorney and business owner running in an open seat who will focus on finding solutions for the district’s unprecedented growth.
  • Kerri Smith (R), District 28 (Greenville County): Smith’s campaign is marked by strong fundraising, community support, and a focus on planning for the needs of a growing state.
  • JoAnn LaBounty (R), District 34 (Spartanburg County): A proponent of protecting more land in SC, LaBounty’s business acumen and commitment to fighting for her district make her a formidable candidate.
  • Kevin Dunn (R), District 35 (Greenville & Spartanburg Counties): Dunn has a track record of leading businesses, serving his local community, and is concerned about preserving our state’s forests and natural beauty.
  • Adam Crisp (R), District 36 (Spartanburg County): A business-minded candidate, Crisp is a common sense, results-driven leader, unlike the incumbent he is running against.
  • Jason Shamis (R), District 38 (Spartanburg County): The current mayor of Campobello, Shamis cares greatly about our state’s rivers and streams and is challenging an incumbent who is not focused on solutions for the district.
  • Vince Northcutt (R), District 40 (Lexington & Newberry Counties): Unlike the incumbent, Northcutt has a clear direction and plan to advocate for District 40 and has supported conservation efforts through groups like Ducks Unlimited.
  • Jason Luck (D), District 54 (Chesterfield, Darlington, & Marlboro Counties): Following Rep. Henegan’s retirement, Luck is supportive of polluter accountability and concerned about resiliency issues facing SC, such as flooding.
  • Michele Branning (R), District 66 (York County): A real estate agent and school board leader, Branning brings a balanced perspective to environmental discussions and works to thoroughly understand the issues and how they impact her district.
  • Robert Reese (D), District 70 (Richland & Kershaw Counties): Reese is a strong community organizer and conservation advocate, a community leader well positioned to lead.
  • Seth Rose (D), District 72 (Richland County): With 103% on CVSC’s legislative scorecard, Rep. Rose consistently advocates for environmental legislation, stood with CVSC on energy issues this year, and has great support in his district.
  • Hamilton Grant (D), District 79 (Richland County): A businessman and community leader, Grant is focused on land conservation and protecting South Carolina’s coasts.
  • Charlie Hartz (R), District 81 (Aiken County): Hartz, a small business owner and advocate for conservative government, is committed to understanding each issue and how it impacts businesses and families in his district.
  • Bill Clyburn (D), District 82 (Aiken, Edgefield, & Saluda Counties): With a CVSC Scorecard score of 87%, Rep. Clyburn is a reliable advocate for environmental issues, with strong support in his district.
  • Dean Widener (R), District 85 (Lexington County): A former military leader and supporter of land conservation and clean water, Widener and the families and businesses in his district are tired of not being represented at the Statehouse.

CVSC is confident that these candidates are best suited to serve their districts. They are committed to understanding the issues facing our state during this time of rapid growth. They will advocate for the conservation efforts necessary to maintain the beauty and health of South Carolina’s natural resources for years to come. CVSC is expected to roll out State Senate endorsements as well as additional primary endorsements for State House in the coming weeks. 

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