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An Update from Chairman Chad Connelly

May 24, 2011

Dear Fellow Republican,

I hope my email finds you well. Our team has hit the ground running here in Columbia and I want to give you an update on my first few weeks as SCGOP Chairman.

We are in the process of putting together AGGRESSIVE fundraising and political plans for 2011-2012. Using those plans, we will build on our historic victories and work towards a permanent, conservative majority in South Carolina. But we’ll need your help! Here are some areas in which you might get involved:

House District 10 Special Election

Six Republicans have filed to run for the House District 10 seat being vacated by Representative Dan Cooper in Anderson County. Those candidates (in alphabetical order) are Hamp Johnson of Piedmont, Mike Jones of Easley, Eric McConnell of Easley, Dr. Joe Mills of Piedmont, Mark Powell of Williamston, and Joshua Putnam of Easley.

The primary will be held on Tuesday, July 12 with a potential runoff on Tuesday, July 26. South Carolina Democrats didn’t bother with finding a candidate, so the Republican primary winner will serve northern Anderson County at the statehouse. That’s a great sign of our Republican strength!

“First in the South” Primary Update

Our 2012 “First in the South” Presidential Preference Primary is less than 10 months away! Last week I met with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and GOP leaders from Iowa, New Hampshire, and Florida to reaffirm our “First in the South” status. They all recognize that South Carolina is critical in the nominating process and that our SCGOP will do everything necessary to protect our “First in the South” primary status.

Public Policy Update

Governor Nikki Haley and the Republican leaders of the South Carolina House and Senate deserve praise for their leadership in passing a voter identification bill. Requiring voter identification is a critical part of protecting our republic and our South Carolina Republican Party has continually fought for this common sense approach to ensuring the integrity of ballots. I’m proud of you, Governor Haley, and the Republican legislative leadership for defending our most sacred right.

Additionally, the South Carolina House will debate H. 3407, the Education Opportunity Act, on Wednesday, May 25th. This legislation would give parents the ability to choose the best classroom for their individual children.

The bill, modeled after similar programs in Arizona, Florida and Pennsylvania, would provide tax credits or tax credit scholarships for parents who choose to move their children from a public to an independent school or whose children begin kindergarten. It would also provide a $1,000 tax credit for parents who home school in order to pay for instructional expenses such as books. $1000 is less than one-tenth of the $11,754 public schools will spend per-student next year. Families deserve that support.

It’s an idea that has been in the Republican platform for decades and supported by Republican leaders like Ronald Reagan as well as leaders here in the Palmetto State. Contact your legislator at to ask them where they stand on the bill.

In closing, thank you for your service to our South Carolina Republican Party. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I’m always happy to speak with you.

Proud to be a South Carolina Republican,

Chad Connelly
Chairman, South Carolina Republican Party