Swatzel says Republicans have shot at winning

By Scott Harper
Georgtown Times- April, 4, 2008

Firing up the female Republican base -- that was the goal of Georgetown County Republican Party Chairman Tom Swatzel when he spoke to the Georgetown County Republican Club at a luncheon in Litchfield Thursday.

"We need more help at the precinct level," Swatzel said, encouraging the two dozen women in attendance to volunteer to help the GOP candidates this year.

"Walk through your neighborhoods and introduce (the candidates) to your neighbors," Swatzel suggested. "Write letters to the editors about how you think things should be. We need to get our message out."

Swatzel reminded the gathering the Republicans will have a primary on June 10 in the Georgetown County Sheriff's race between incumbent Lane Cribb and newcomer Jay High. There also will be a primary for the House of Representatives District 1 between incumbent Henry Brown and newcomers Katherine Jenerette and Paul Norris.

Republican Lindsey Graham faces Buddy Witherspoon on the June 10 GOP Primary ballot.

Swatzel said the Georgetown County Council special election for District 5 is important because this could be the year that Republicans gain a majority of council seats.

He said he feels Republicans "have a good shot" of winning that seat that has been held by Democrat Sel Hemingway who had to resign when he was hired as the new county administrator.

Swatzel also took a few minutes to talk about the importance of helping Jill Kelso defeat Democrat Vida Miller for the S.C. House 108 Seat.

"Right now there are three Democrats and one Republican on the local Legislative Delegation. They make a lot of decisions and appointments to boards and commissions. It's important that we get Sen. Ray Cleary some help on the Delegation," Swatzel said.

He said Kelso, unlike Miller, will vote to uphold Gov. Mark Sanford's vetoes on wasteful budget items.

He said Sanford is very popular on the Waccamaw Neck where he received 70-percent of the vote in 2006.

"He is very good at going through the budget and looking for wasteful spending and I say good for him," Swatzel said. "Vida Miller hurts Mark Sanford because her voting record of upholding his vetoes is zero. We need to help Governor Sanford by electing Jill Kelso."

Swatzel also repeated his disappointment that the Georgetown County School Board elections will now be nonpartisan.

He said he was surprised the Georgetown County Democratic Party did not join the local GOP in calling for the elections to remain partisan.

"This leads me to conclude that they do not feel they are relevant in this election. I know we are relevant and we will make a difference," Swatzel said.