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CVSC Releases Senate Endorsements for Conservation Champions

The Board of Directors of Conservation Voters of South Carolina (CVSC) is proud to announce its endorsement of a diverse group of State Senators for the upcoming 2024 primary elections. Our electoral efforts are strategically aimed at building a bipartisan conservation majority in the General Assembly. With a foundation of trust among voters and our in-depth political expertise, CVSC deploys sophisticated campaigns to deliver thousands of votes at the ballot box and win elections for the environment. CVSC evaluates a candidate and race based on the candidates’ environmental voting record, stated positions, viability, and ability and interest in taking a proactive leadership role on conservation issues.

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 in the past eight years to support 184 endorsed candidates, achieving an impressive 86% success rate. 

“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:

Senator Karl Allen (D), District 7: 100% CVSC Score
Senator Allen consistently advocates for conservation and fights for better schools, roads, and opportunities for all South Carolinians. He scored 100% on CVSC’s 2021-2022 Legislative Scorecard, and we look forward to his continued service in the Senate.

Hope Blackley (R), District 12
Hope brings a compassionate and open-minded approach to solving problems, with a strong commitment to conservation efforts and a proven community service track record reflecting her dedication to protecting South Carolina’s natural resources.

Senator Tameika Isaac Devine (D), District 19
Senator Isaac Devine has demonstrated unwavering support for protecting our rivers, reducing carbon emissions, and preserving sites of historical and natural significance. Newly elected to the Senate, we look forward to her continued service and support.

Representative Ivory Thigpen (D), District 22: 83% CVSC Score
With a score of 83% on CVSC’s 2021-2022 Legislative Scorecard, Representative Thigpen has a proven track record on conservation issues in the SC House, leveraging his experience as a youth mentor, pastor, and community leader to champion policies that benefit the environment and his constituents. We look forward to him using his legislative experience to do even bigger things for his community in the Senate.

Senator Katrina Shealy (R), District 23
Senator Shealy is a steadfast advocate for her community, consistently championing land conservation, promoting solar energy initiatives, and holding polluters accountable. She does all of this while ensuring that the voices and needs of her constituents are always at the forefront of her legislative efforts.

Senator Ronnie Sabb (D), District 32: 104% CVSC Score
Senator Sabb, a Green Tie Award winner with a 104% on CVSC’s 2021-2022 Legislative Scorecard, has been a relentless advocate for clean air, clean water, renewable energy, and land conservation. He consistently fights for environmental protection and accountability in South Carolina’s legislature. We are thankful for his willingness to serve once more.

Jeffrey Graham (D), District 35
Graham, the former Mayor of Camden, has committed to championing conservation in the legislature. By leveraging his experience as a community leader, small business owner, and active council member, he will drive initiatives that protect South Carolina’s natural resources and ensure sustainable growth for future generations.

Senator Kevin Johnson (D), District 36: 100% CVSC Score
With a 100% on CVSC’s Legislative Scorecard, Senator Johnson is a dedicated advocate for a diverse energy landscape that includes wind and solar power. His deep connection to his community is evident through his tireless advocacy and active involvement in local initiatives, demonstrating a commitment to his constituents’ well-being and the conservation of South Carolina’s natural resources.

Senator Brad Hutto (D), District 40: 89% CVSC Score
Senator Hutto, a Green Tie Award winner with an 89% on CVSC’s 2021-2022 Legislative Scorecard, has consistently championed green space preservation, offshore wind energy development, and holding polluters accountable. His long-standing service in the South Carolina State Senate since 1996 has been marked by significant contributions to environmental protection and sustainable development, making him a steadfast advocate for conservation.

Senator Sandy Senn (R), District 41: 79% CVSC Score
Senator Senn, a Green Tie Award winner, has demonstrated her commitment to environmental conservation by supporting the funding of the South Carolina Conservation Bank, opposing offshore drilling, and holding power companies accountable to their customers. Her proactive stance on these issues highlights her dedication to protecting South Carolina’s natural resources and ensuring responsible energy practices.

CVSC does not endorse in all contested races. In fact, there are many races where CVSC chooses not to endorse either candidate. Not engaging in a race DOES NOT convey a position on one candidate or the other. Rather, the decision not to engage in a race may be due to the priority of the race relative to others, the absence of a viable conservation champion, or the lack of a clear distinction between two conservation leaders.

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 and will advocate for the preservation of South Carolina’s air, land, and water for future generations. CVSC’s Political Action Committee is implementing robust campaigns via mail, phone, and canvassing to actively support 23 House candidates and the 10 Senate candidates announced today.

For more information on CVSC’s endorsed candidates and their conservation efforts, please visit https://www.cvsc.org/elections/

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