A non-partisan women’s group would like to see more women in political leadership, so they are asking the candidates for the state’s next governor to sign a pledge to consider and appoint more women to boards and commissions.
Yet, the woman who is the leading candidate for governor will not sign the pledge.
Republican Nikki Haley says she “will always choose the highest qualified person for the job without regard to race or gender.”
Democrat Vincent Sheheen has signed the pledge.
Former state legislator Candy Waites, a Democrat, is leading the South Carolina Gubernatorial Appointments project (GAP), along with Greenville’s Public Works Commissioner Deb Sofield, a Republican. The project is through the Southeastern Institute for Women in Politics.
Waites points out that neither GAP nor the institute will endorse any candidate, and while they would like Haley to agree to include more women, their effort is to “remove the excuse that the governor is unable to find women qualified to serve in high-level positions.”
South Carolina ranks 50th in the nation for the number of women in the legislature. Waites says it has been difficult to recruit women to run for office in South Carolina.
Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey told SCRN:
We appreciate the merits of what the GAP is trying to accomplish and believe it goes without saying that Nikki loves the idea of getting more women involved in public service. That said, Nikki is not going to make any pledges in reference to appointments, other than this one–she will always choose the highest qualified person for the job without regard to race or gender.