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Incumbent Rep. RJ May is running for re-election in House District 88

South Congaree, SC 06/08/2024 (Paul Kirby) – Incumbent Rep. RJ May is running for re-election in House District 88. District 88 covers both South Congaree and Pine Ridge, much of Red Bank, and across the I- 20 up to East Main Street in Lexington. On the other side, it borders I-26 near the Charleston Highway interchange and runs south to cover the Gardners Terrace Road portion of the city of Gaston, up to SC Hwy. 6, and includes the Edmund community.

May served four years and is a founding member of the SC Freedom Caucus. The Freedom Caucus is a group of lawmakers who believe the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted literally. May and the other members are also 100% pro-life, pro Second Amendment, and feel that less government is the best government. They do not believe that South Carolina residents should foot the bill for the pet projects of members of the House of Representatives or the Senate, and are opposed to providing incentives to attract billion-dollar companies from around the world to our state.

Many of the growing members of the Freedom Caucus are being opposed this year by candidates selected and funded by the state’s Republicans, who are part of the Old Guard, or RINOs. The word RINO is an acronym for Republicans in Name. The Old Guard consists of the most powerful men in South Carolina. They can best be described as the leadership of the House of Representatives and the Senate, which over the years has built up enough prestige and seniority to control committee assignments, the legislative calendar and more. If members of the legislature want to get good committee assignments, charge members for money (earmarks) for their districts, and other benefits that help members get re-elected year after year, they have to vote on what the Old Guard tells them when they hear it.

May recently said that he and the other members of the Freedom Caucus are simply taking on the Old Guard, which is why they are being so viciously attacked this election cycle with mailers, text messages, phone calls and in other forms of advertising. “We will not vote on a state budget that is filled with requests from members that have nothing to do with the mission of the state,” May said. “We are not voting for legalized abortions, we are not voting for bills that would limit our right to keep and bear arms, we are not voting to give Scout Motors (a division of Volkswagen) $1.3 billion in SC taxpayer dollars here building electric off-road vehicles, or anything else that we believe is a misuse of your money.

According to May, this changes drastically between the moment a draft state budget for the new year is introduced and the moment that budget is passed into law. “We will first vote on the new budget line by line. There is a chart of these votes online that shows how each member of the legislature votes. That’s easy to find. Then the budget is packed by many of the legislators with a request from these members, and it is brought back to us for another vote on the whole thing. This year, that version includes $300,000 for the Charleston Wine and Cheese Festival, $250,000 for the SC Horse Council and $25,000,000 for the economic development of the city of Fort Mill,” he said. “In my opinion, some of the items on that list are worth state funding, but if they are worth that, they should be discussed in the state budget as we go through that process. It forces us to vote against the entire budget, including valuable parts. But the bad outweighs the good. As a Republican supermajority, we should not fund the left’s priority, we should not give away billions of taxpayer dollars to private companies, and we should not waste nearly a billion on earmarks. The RINOs are only telling you part of the story when they attack us.” That’s why every year I vote against the state budget and now the members of the Freedom Caucus are under fire for voting against the entire budget, which includes valuable components like SROs for our schools, pay raises for teachers and things like that. The RINOs are only telling you part of the story when they attack us.”

When asked if major industries like Scout Motors would still come to SC and bring all their high-paying jobs with them without major taxpayers, May said: “Volkswagen, the parent company of Scout Motors, is the second largest automaker in the world . $1.3 billion is really a drop in the bucket for them. When they choose where to build a new factory, they look at many things. It is checked whether a location has a large, trainable workforce. They also look at highways, ports, available land and things like that. There are studies that have shown that giving large incentives to these types of companies plays virtually no role in their decision to locate in a state.”

Other industries that SC chooses to subsidize also include the film industry. “Again, there are studies showing that subsidies to this industry in other states have reduced, not increased, the amount of films shot in those states over time. Films like Forrest Gump, The Lords of Discipline, The Great Santini and Days of Thunder were all shot in SC before we started subsidizing the film industry,” he concluded.

When asked why it was so important not to include training in the Constitutional Carry Bill that the Legislature passed last year, May quickly responded: “To say that the Second Amendment is: a well-regulated militia, necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. What it doesn’t say is that you need something from the state for this. If we let the state demand training, what else does it need training for? If a grown adult wants to drink a beer after mowing his lawn, should he undergo training to do so? If we let the government take away our freedoms, where will that end?

May pointed out several things about his opponent Lorelei Graye. One was a document obtained through a Freedom of Information request that showed Graye had never voted in a Republican primary. This would indicate that she had very little interest in Republican politics and Conservative causes until this election cycle. “Lexington County property records show she has not lived in District 88 for a full year,” May said. “She purchased a home on Wilson Street in Red Bank from Senator Shealy’s family in the summer of 2023,” May said. “Within months she announced she was running against me for House.”

He also noted that she leans very liberal on some important issues. “She has said publicly that she is a supporter of both DEI and ESG,” May said. DEI stands for diversity, equity and inclusion, while ESG stands for environment, society and governance.

Critics of DEI say these programs try to solve racial discrimination by disadvantaging other groups. In short, it comes close to what was once called reverse discrimination. With DEI, a person applying for a job can legally receive a lower score on their abilities because of the color of their skin, not because of their education or their ability to do the best job.

ESG is an acronym for environment, society and governance. It is usually used to assess companies based on their environmental impact, social activities and governance stance. It gives a company an ESG ranking based on the things mentioned above and can make it legal to discriminate against that company. If a company gets a low ESG score because it makes and sells firearms, a bank can legally refuse to do business with them because Progressives believe firearms are bad and shouldn’t be made. Both programs or pets of the far left and conservative states like Texas have already taken action to make this “grading on a curve” illegal.

Concluding, May said: “On Tuesday you will have the opportunity to make your choice known when you vote. Do you want a closeted liberal working for you or would you rather have a proven conservative continuing the fight? It’s very simple. If you want someone in Columbia who will fight to drain the swamp and stop good boy politics, vote for RJ May on Tuesday, June 11, 2024.

If you would like to speak with RJ May, you can reach him by phone at (803) 470-4482. You can also reach him by email at [email protected].

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