Henry McMaster sworn in as South Carolina governor

Gov. Henry McMaster inaugurated, Wednesday.

Under a cloudless and chilly, deep blue sky, Henry McMaster was sworn in, Wednesday, as governor of South Carolina. The ceremony was held on the south steps of the Statehouse in Columbia.

McMaster became the 117th governor of the state Jan. 24, 2017 after he was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley, as lieutenant governor. He was elected governor in November.

The state’s new Lt. Gov., Pamela Evette and the state’s six  Constitutional officers were sworn in, too. The spectacle included a flyover by four F-16 fighter jets from McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Eastover.

At McMaster’s inauguration, he said the state is successful as it competes economically, noting that South Carolina is the leading exporter in the country of tires and completed automobiles.

He said the state must be bold to compete.

“We are winning and we will keep winning,” McMaster said. He referenced the Clemson University football team’s National Championship victory over Alabama Monday night, adding “we will not fumble.”

McMaster said as the governor of the state his administration will be bold. His main themes included economic development, education, the environment and tax reform.

State’s Constitutional officers, including Treasurer Curtis Loftis of West Columbia, sworn in by Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette.

“Continued economic prosperity requires reforming our state’s tax code,” McMaster said. “It requires reforming our state’s marginal income and corporate tax rates to keep South Carolina competitive for jobs, investment and talent.”

He also said after needs are prioritized, government surpluses should be returned to the state’s taxpayers.

Alluding to workforce, McMaster said the state now has to go outside of its boundaries to get skilled workers. He said he will be an advocate of four-year higher education, and a proponent of two-year associate degrees and certificate programs that train workers.

For South Carolina schools, McMaster said he will commit to building infrastructure in rural areas in order to overcome the perception the state is weak in education. He said discipline must be enforced in schools and the burden of excessive paperwork taken off the shoulders of teachers.

McMaster also said he will oppose “all efforts from any quarter to endanger the future of our pristine coastline, our beaches, our sea islands, our marshes and our watersheds.”

The governor said protecting the state’s water supply is also important, and he will work to do that.

In opening McMaster said: “Words cannot express the pride and joy I have to be the governor of the great state of South Carolina. It is exhilarating and humbling. An honor and a privilege. My family and I thank you.”

Also attending were former Govs. Nikki Haley, Mark Sanford, Jim Hodges, David Beasley and Dick Riley. Outgoing Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant swore in Evette.

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