UNION — Gary Burgess — a candidate for the GOP nomination for State Superintendent of Education — and David Tribble Jr. — a candidate for the GOP nomination for South Carolina House District 42 — were the featured speakers at Thursday’s meeting of the Union County Republican Party.
After introductions from local party chair Michael Fowler, Hope Walker, South Carolina’s Director for the Republican National Committee spoke to those in attendance in the Union County Courthouse Grand Jury Room. Walker said this is a historic year for the party, as they have more seats than ever to defend. She also discussed the number of seats held by Republicans on the local level, and said she hopes to increase each of those numbers.
Walker then introduced David Tribble Jr., who is running for the party’s nomination for S.C. House District 42.
Tribble spoke first about his years of service to his community beginning in 1981 when he was elected as Mayor of Clinton and serving two terms in the office. During the 1990s, Tribble served on the Laurens Hospital Association Board, and as chair of his industry’s trade association in North Carolina and South Carolina. Tribble was elected to serve on Laurens County Council from 2004-2010. In 2010, he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives from Distict 15 where he served until 2012. Since serving in the State House, Tribble has chaired the capital campaign for the YMCA, Clinton Rotary, Laurens Chamber of Commerce, and the local board for Christ Central Ministries in Joanna.
Tribble the said he’d heard the announcement that incumbent District 42 Rep. Mike Anthony had announced he was dropping out of the race for State Superintendent of Education and would run for re-election to his current position.
“I take it that that was just too hard work,” Tribble said about Anthony’s decision.
Tribble said there was a lot of fun for Anthony to have in the Columbia area.
“But he’s not going to have much fun this fall,” Tribble said.
Tribble said he has stood by his principles his whole life.
“I’ve lived under the rules I’ve made longer than I ever spent making any rules,” he said.
Tribble also discussed Obamacare, calling it an “unmitigated disaster.”
“Every single number that has been put forward in terms of Obamacare is a lie,” he said. “All their assumptions were wrong.”
Fowler then introduced Gary Burgess, a former classroom teacher and principal, who is in the running for the GOP nomination for State Superintendent of Education.
“Why am I running for State Superintendent of Education for South Carolina?” Burgess asked. “I love South Carolina and I believe we can be the No. 1 learning environment in the world.”
Burgess said a large portion of general funds are available for education.
“Money is not an issue,” Burgess said. “During the recession, reserve funds went up. During the recession!”
Burgess discussed his own humble beginnings and stated that he believes there is currently too much political correctness in education.
“If a teacher cannot discipline a child, a teacher cannot teach a child,” he said.
Burgess told a story of a student whose teacher told him he would not be able to continue playing football if he continued to perform poorly in class. Burgess said the student claimed it was due to racism, and the principal took the side of the student rather than the teacher. Then, the superintendent defended the principal.
“The kid may have won the battle, but he lost the war,” Burgess said, referring to the student’s poor academic performance.
“We can’t continue with this politically correct conversation. We need to have honest conversation.”
Burgess also discussed ways to help young African-American males perform better in school.
“This is what I know,” he said. “I know the only curriculum that helps catch up a kid is to treat them like they’re gifted and talented. Treat them like they have intelligence.”
Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, Ext. 29.