In South Carolina, as in many states, the position of Lt. Governor is usually overlooked. Certainly, the LG job doesn’t have the glam of the Governor or the day-to-day engagement of other state-wide elective offices, but there is a significance to the job that shouldn’t be ignored.
The current Lt. Governor’s website succinctly relates to functions of the office:
Under the State Constitution, the Lieutenant Governor serves as the President of the Senate and assumes the position of Governor if for any reason the Governor is unable to perform the duties of that office. As President of the Senate, the Lieutenant Governor is the Presiding Officer and is often called upon to make significant rulings which affect the outcome of Senate votes and debates.
The last sentence is no small point. At a time when South Carolina desperately needs to reform state government and reinvigorate the economy, every policy and political leverage will be necessary for success. Given the current legislature’s disdain for the electorate and propensity for rampant fiscal malfeasance, having a ranger in the Senate would be a powerful advantage for reform.
I believe the “ranger” South Carolina needs as Lt. Governor really IS a Ranger; Orangeburg attorney Bill Connor.
I could regurgitate Connor’s bio, but y’all can do that on your own. In doing so, you’ll see a lot of stuff that you might see for a lot of candidates: conservative, goes to church and prior military service – though Connor’s is more distinguished than most, including receiving the Bronze Star.
Look, South Carolina doesn’t need a Lt. Governor that can kill people with his thumb or conduct special operations against adversaries who break in line at Starbucks, but Bill Connor’s military experiences DO provide unique qualifications. While in the service, either commanding a rifle company, as a chief training officer, as an aide-de-camp to a commanding general or teaching commissioned officers, not only did Bill Connor lead – and was recognized for that leadership – he made critical decisions.
But Connor offers even more. He is someone whose political and social values are not only in line what that of the bulk of the population of South Carolina, but those values are in synch with what the Palmetto State needs. He is an impressive figure intellectually, a characteristic that will be critical in serving as a spokesperson and champion for economic development in the state. As Lt. Governor, when Bill Connor meets with company or industry leaders to recruit for investment in South Carolina, he will be listened to.
Most importantly, Connor will be a tough citizen’s proponent when presiding over the South Carolina Senate. I believe those who engage in the procedural shenanigans in that body that have stifled transparency and progress will find a formidable adversary in Lt. Governor Bill Connor.
The Army Ranger motto is “Rangers Lead The Way.” but I think the phrase that’s splashed across the top of the Special Operations web site fits Bill Connor even better:
“No Bull, No Bias, No Pressure.”