COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) – Two of the candidates every South Carolinian will see on their ballot squared off Tuesday – less than a month before Election Day.
Current Republican Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette and Democrat Tally Parham Casey debated tonight in Columbia – making their cases to earn your vote.
The debate marks the only time the two women vying to hold South Carolina’s second-highest office are meeting on the debate stage – about two weeks before early voting opens across the state and four weeks ahead of Election Day.
Republican incumbent Pamela Evette and Democratic challenger Tally Parham Casey opposing each other for a job that’s main purpose is to be able to step in the governor can’t serve.
Evette – an Upstate businesswoman and South Carolina’s first female Republican lieutenant governor – is seeking to keep her job for another four years alongside Gov. Henry McMaster.
“We’ve made South Carolina better for our children and our children’s children,” Evette said.
Casey – an attorney and the first-ever female fighter pilot in the South Carolina Air National Guard – is on the ballot with former Democratic Congressman Joe Cunningham.
“Joe Cunningham and I want you to have more freedoms, not less,” Casey said.
The two women shared their goals for the limited power the lieutenant governor holds.
“I see the role as lieutenant governor for me as the opportunity to be both an ambassador and an advocate,” Casey said.
“When third-graders come through and walk through the capitol, I love that they see a woman in this position, to let girls know that nothing holds them back,” Evette said.
In the first major election following the overturn of Roe v. Wade – opening the doors for states to decide the legality of abortion within their borders – the candidates were split on what that should look like in South Carolina.
“In 2021, we passed a bipartisan heartbeat bill. We all proudly signed that bill. That bill is something I stand behind,” Evette said.
“If it were up to me, I would go back to the precedent set by Roe v. Wade, which was the law of the land for the past 50 years,” Casey said.
They also explained their campaign’s views on how to respond to the opioid epidemic, support South Carolinians with mental health needs and improve the state’s schools.
“The governor and I are very clear that we stand behind school choice,” Evette said.
“We want to make sure that our public schools are fully funded for the first time. They haven’t been fully funded since the 2007-2008 school year,” Casey said.
And in about two weeks – is the only debate currently scheduled between the two candidates for governor, McMaster and Cunningham.
That’s set for Oct. 26.