Local representatives discuss Haley's 'State of the State' address

Local representatives discuss Haley's 'State of the State' address

Wednesday evening, Governor Nikki Haley gave her 2016 "State of the State" address. WMBF News talked Congressman Tom Rice who represents District 7, and Horry County Democratic Party Chair Joan Furlong for their opinions on Haley's statements.

Both said they expected Haley to really focus on job growth in the Palmetto State, and that she did. Rice and Furlong say jobs are one of the top things people in our area are worried about when it comes to politics.

"I think she ran on jobs, jobs, jobs, and I think she's carried through," Rice said.

"South Carolina's unemployment rate sits at 5.5 percent, the lowest since 2001," Haley said. "There are more people working today than ever before in the history of South Carolina."

Rice hopes representatives in Washington can take a cue from our state when it comes to job creation.

"What we have to do is adopt that attitude that Horry County has adopted to compete for jobs, that Florence County has adopted to compete for jobs, that the state of South Carolina has adopted to compete for jobs...if we ever do that in Washington, we'll start to see American jobs return to these shores," Rice said.

Haley's focus on jobs seemed to resonate with Democrats as well.

"I think we all agree for the need for jobs," Furlong said. "We would certainly like to see jobs that are not limited to seasonal work, that pay a higher wage. Democrats support raising the minimum wage, and it's something that can be graduated over the course of a couple of years...people need to be able to earn a living and take care of their families."

Following the address, the focus shifts to the presidential primaries in the Palmetto State, which begin in February. South Carolina plays a major role in who will ultimately win the presidential election as the first in the south primary, and both parties believe it is their year, to win. 
"I certainly believe we will have a republican president. I think it's ours to lose, and we can sure lose it. But I think the odds are that we will have a republican president and I think it's absolutely critical that we do. We cannot continue down this path," Rice said.

"I think people will want to keep a democrat in the white house to continue the work that President Obama has started. There's more to do. We need to focus on lifting people up with jobs and education," Furlong said.

In the end though, it's your choice. Both urged that you get out and vote no matter your party.

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