By Nelson Faerber
I recently heard someone state that God blessed America through our veterans. The lens through which this person simultaneously viewed life as God’s will and gave thanks to veterans resonated with me, and I believe it is reflective of South Carolina as a whole. Being an Afghanistan War veteran, this truly humbles me.
While I am very proud of my service, it is important to me that I not receive any favors for doing my job. That is not why an American serves. So on June 12, when you see my name further down the ballot as a candidate for secretary of state, please don’t vote for me because I am a veteran – vote for me if you find me qualified to work for you.
Seek my name out on the ballot because you have “vetted” me. Yes, you may know I have been placed in a foreign country, wearing our nation’s uniform, and succeeded in the face of challenging leadership situations, but your vote should not be solely reflective of what I have done – but for what this experience equipped me to do in the future. You can trust that I carry with me the discipline and integrity needed to be an effective servant leader in your state government.
Plus, the benefit of voting for a qualified candidate under 35 years old goes beyond this election. Your vote serves as an investment in protecting your values now and decades into the future.
I submit to you I am the right investment not just because of skills I gained through military service, but also my post-bachelor’s-degree education. After playing on Clemson University’s football team, I graduated from law school with honors. When compared with my peers on the bar exam, I scored in the top 3 percent in the United States.
Now, I am a political outsider running against a 16-year incumbent. There is no term limit for this office, which is a problem itself. The only term limit is your vote in the primary.
If South Carolina had term limits, the complacency that is inherent in long-term bureaucracy would naturally remove itself. New candidates with ambition and fresh ideas would cycle through the office, which better serves you. That is why I pledge to serve no more than two terms. Otherwise, the office would again become stale with growth stagnated.
So you may ask yourself, why would I want to run for secretary of state? I believe we need a fresh set of eyes to review the policies and practices within the Secretary of State’s Office. It is time to get rid of the bureaucratic red tape and government inefficiencies that stifle small-business growth. Right now, we have career politicians and bureaucrats running our state government, setting up roadblocks to entrepreneurship and economic development in our state.
A perfect example is the lack of modern technology that creates efficiency, security, and cost savings. The internet boom happened two decades ago, and the current incumbent has been in office almost through its entire growth. Yet, the office’s website looks like it was built in the 1990s.
Nowadays consumers live their lives in an almost completely digital world, with countless conveniences and quality-of-life improvements, yet the Secretary of State’s Office is literally stuck in the 1990s. The Secretary of State’s Office is the first place entrepreneurs go once they have decided to start a business in our state. It is incumbent upon the office to have better online and in-person resources for entrepreneurs.
Simply put, it is unacceptable that in today’s automated world South Carolina has businesses waiting weeks for their LLC to go live, even having to mail $3 checks at times. Taking weeks of valuable business time from our state’s business constituents due to outdated bureaucratic procedures is a failure. I will work to cut down these old processes to minutes with new technology.
The Republican primary June 12 is about “vetting” candidates and using your vote as a term limit. With your help, we can bring this office into the 21st century.
Nelson Faerber is a Republican candidate for secretary of state. He served as a JAG officer in the United States Air Force and is a former football player for Clemson University. He and his wife, Erika, live in downtown Greenville.