- Barrett 10
- Bauer 4
- Grooms 131
- Haley 14
- McMaster 14
We heard from more than a few attendees who grumbled that McMaster chose not to attend because of schedule conflicts, but rather because it was expected that Grooms would win the straw poll handily. We won't go so far as to say we believe them, but we will say that this is the risk you run when you confirm months before, only to bail in the last few days.
Kelly Payne's "IT Kids" were there, getting their first taste of Lowcountry politics. Introduced by yours truly from the stage, who was wearing my very own IT kids shirt, they made a lot of friends and positive impressions quickly at the event.
If you missed the event because you slept in, it was too far to drive, or whatever, here is some of what you missed:
- Fellow blogger Mike Reino was hanging out, taking pictures. Due to his performance at my graduation party roast, every effort was made to keep a microphone out of his hands.
- Dean Allen, running for Adjutant General, gave a short stump speech, focusing on State Guard improvement.
- Bill Connor, running for Lt. Governor, waved his faith around a little too much - a point raised by a number of attendees - and waved around his clueless and unsustainable "Retirees for Economic Development" plan (most jobs created to serve retiree communities are low wage and those who work them require large amounts of welfare benefits to make ends meet, while flooding local schools).
- Brent Nelsen sounded much better and more qualified running for Superintendent of Education than he did when he was prospecting for the Governor's race. Even if he kept avoiding that long-haired dude who runs the Blogland.
- 1st District Congressional candidate Tumpy Campbell gave a decent stump speech, pleasantly surprising in that he spared the audience the kind of "my daddy" crap that his brother overused when running for Lt. Governor two years ago, but his "just got into politics" claim was far from accurate, considering his past membership on the state ports authority board and his involvement as a political advisor for the Catawba Indians.
- Local representative Tim Scott, always a favorite of this group, asked for input as he considers entering the race for Lt. Governor - and looks like he got plenty while at the event.
- Larry Grooms gave another passionate stump speech, talking about working harder for economic development, pushing for more energy generation capacity, reforming permitting and regulatory agencies, and let attendees know he was married to his soul mate.
If you're kicking yourself in the butt for missing so much fun - you should!
But there's plenty of other upcoming events, so you can catch up on what you missed this time. Be sure to visit the Lowcountry GOP Breakfast Club next Saturday at Kelly's BBQ on US 78 near Summerville, where SCGOP Chair Karen Floyd will be speaking, and put the Berkeley group on your calendar for next month!
Also ... special thanks to Senator Danny Verdin, who drove all the way down from Laurens to hang out and check out Lowcountry politics.