South Carolina's emerging manufacturing and aeronautics industries will continue to grow only if the state's schools feed them workers, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott told more than 40 local supporters Friday at the Hilton Head Island Airport.
The S.C. Republican's stop in Beaufort County was his fifth on a state tour to launch his election campaign. After Hilton Head, he was to visit Aiken and Spartanburg, campaign manager Joe McKeown said.
Scott said he intends to focus on improving education and the workforce, which are closely intertwined. To continue to attract companies such as Boeing, which opened a plant in North Charleston in 2011, South Carolina must produce technically skilled workers, he added.
"The American dream starts with education," he said. "Instead of focusing on broad educational reform, we want to focus first with the student, then work our way out."
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Scott filed for the June 10 primary election Thursday but currently faces no opposition in the Republican primary. Richland County Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson also filed for the seat this week and seeks the Democratic nomination.
Terms for a state's Senate seats are staggered, but South Carolina voters will have the unusual opportunity to cast ballots for two senators in the November general election.
Incumbent Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham's term expires, and he is expected to face a half-dozen other candidates for the Republican nomination. Jay Stamper has filed for the Democratic nomination.
Scott is competing in a special election to decide who will complete the final two years of former Sen. Jim DeMint's term. He was appointed to the seat last year by Gov. Nikki Haley after DeMint resigned.
At the time of his appointment, Scott was a second-term representative from the 1st Congressional District, which includes part of Beaufort County.
"Beaufort County holds a special place in my heart," he said. "I'd be remiss not to come and visit. ... I'm thankful for all the guys here who made this possible."
Scott will be back in Beaufort County on April 14 for a brunch at The Cypress of Hilton Head Island hosted by the Sun City, Hilton Head Island and Greater Bluffton Republican clubs. Tickets are $20, said Hilton Head Island Republican Club member Jim Buckley.
Follow reporter Zach Murdock at twitter.com/IPBG_Zach.
- County Council members hope to see challengers in this year's election, March 17, 2014: http://bit.ly/1euumD1
- Tim Scott kicks of re-election campaign with a stop in Myrtle Beach, The (Columbia) State, March 20, 2014: http://bit.ly/1oFyjb3
- Graham denounces defense cuts during Beaufort campaign stop, March 14, 2014: http://bit.ly/OHPLPd
- The Island Packet elections page: http://bit.ly/bc-elections