AG candidate Atwater says South Carolina has a gang problem

AG candidate Atwater says South Carolina has a gang problem
April 10 15:25 2018 Print This Article

State Representative Todd Atwater, one of three Republican candidates for state Attorney General, told the Charleston

 Rep. Todd Atwater

County Republican Party Executive Committee Monday that South Carolina has a gang problem and that the AG’s office has the tools to solve it. He said, “We have 4th graders in Lexington County being recruited into gangs.” Atwater noted that 58 different gangs have been identified in Richland County alone and that he would set up an anti-gang unit and set up grand juries to prosecute gangs wherever they exist.

Atwater also contends that the Attorney General’s office, which has a staff of 300 employees (including 60-70 lawyers), can do a lot more to prosecute drug crimes. He said, “Drug dealers and pill pushers will not continue to harm our students, our children, our families and our friends. Drugs are destroying the values South Carolina holds dear, and I will not allow that.”

Citing the ongoing public corruption investigation, which has led to indictments against several state legislators and political consultants, Atwater vowed to form a public corruption unit and pursue potential wrongdoing from the Governor down to low-level officials. He said, “We need to go after corruption at its core.” Atwater noted that two-term incumbent Alan Wilson has recused himself from seven corruption investigations due to conflict of interest.  Greenville attorney William Herlong is the other candidate in the race.

Atwater, a four-term State Representative, has practiced law for 26 years, with positions in government and the private sector. He served in several capacities in the U.S. Senate under Senator Strom Thurmond and as the Director of Legislative Affairs for Governor David Beasley. He has also headed the South Carolina Medical Association and the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance and as President and Chief Executive Officer for an insurance and financial services company. By ensuring ethical conduct in the business community, Atwater sees the office of Attorney General as an asset to economic development.

Other statewide candidates speaking to Charleston Republicans Monday were Governor candidate John Warren and Secretary of State candidate Nelson Faerber.  Warren founded Greenville-based Lima One Capital and is a decorated Marine Corps combat veteran. He wants to cut sales and income taxes in half and restore public confidence in state government’s ethical conduct.  Faerber, an attorney, was Clemson football’s special teams player of the year and served in Afghanistan with the Air Force JAG Corps. He is committed to modernizing the office’s technology, providing guidance to small businesses, and speeding up the issuance of business licenses.  Both candidates support term limits, which would require an amendment to the state constitution.