Republican Ken Ard was quite exhilarated Tuesday night after winning the lieutenant governor’s race.
It is the gamut of emotions. You can imagine the frustration, the exhilaration, the anxiety, just every possible emotion you could ever imagine. I have three kids and I don’t know that I was any more nervous than I was today when the tallies started coming in.
The Lt. Governor is responsible for presiding over the state senate. It will be a new experience for Ard who, as a former Florence County Councilman, is a relative newcomer to the state political scene. He says he hopes to be on good terms with state lawmakers.
The one thing I’ve got to do is get people to trust me. I have a job to do, I want to keep my head down (and) do that job to the best of my ability. But, ultimately, for those folks to work with me, they’ve got to trust me.
As the head of the state Office on Aging, Ard takes over at a time when funding for seniors will be severely cut. He says his experience owning a business has taught him to work with what he has.
The budget will be what the budget will be. Money will be a scarcity. I am the biggest believer in the world that you judge a society by how we treat its most vulnerable. Our seniors are the most vulnerable amongst us. There will be budget cuts. I would love to reach out to the private sector. I just can’t imagine that the private sector won’t be supportive and try to make up some of the shortfall that we have.
Ard defeated Democrat Ashley Cooper, receiving 56 percent of the vote to Cooper’s 43 percent. He will take over for current lieutenant governor Andre Bauer.