Speech to SC GOP by Sen. Larry Grooms candidate for South Carolina Governor
May 16, 2009
What a great day to be a South Carolinian; what a great day to be a Republican!
Even though they were asleep, I'd spend 2 hours every night driving home just so I could see their sweet little faces and kiss them on the cheek goodnight. My faith and my family mean everything to me.
About ten years ago I wrote a letter to my children a couple of days after the birth of my newest son. That letter was printed in the journals of the South Carolina Senate. I'd like to read a portion of that letter to you:
"April 17, 1999 is a very special day in my life because it is the birth date of Jack Edward Grooms. Taylor, my oldest, is seven, and his brother Hayden is four. When you grow older you will no doubt be curious about your daddy's service in the Senate. One day, you'll be looking through these journals, and you will come across this entry. First let me say that I love you. I've never met a daddy that loves his children more than I love you. I love your mother, and she is really the most wonderful women in the world.
By God's hand I now serve in the South Carolina Senate, and the work I do here I do for you and all the families in our state.... the families of today, and the families of the following years. I chose to seek public office out of the desire to shape the laws and policy in this state in order that you could grow up in the land that still places value in your rights, your God given rights - for life, for liberty and to pursue happiness. (Inaudible) everyday that I am privileged to sit at my desk on the floor of this historic chamber. I serve in the Senate because of you. May God's (inaudible) and blessings be upon you and our state.
With much love,
Nothing in that statement has changed. I stand before you today that same principled, conservative leader I was ten years ago. And during my twelve years of service in the South Carolina Senate I first suffered under democratic control. And, I was devastated the night our state elected a Democrat as Governor, and I don't ever want that to happen again.
I'm celebrating, too, being a key part of the group that took control of the Senate chamber back in 2000. Man, I celebrated! And I was also with Governor Sanford the night we took back the governor's mansion.
As republicans we've done some wonderful things, we really have. But also as republicans we've allowed some things to happen that would make any of us angry, including myself. Too many of our guys are stealing our children's future because they're spending what we do not have. Too many of our guys will trade principle for pork, for earmarks, for special (inaudible), for competitive (inaudible). Too many of our guys are trading their core values... just so they don't have to get outside their comfort zone.
Do you know what upsets me the most? You know what keeps me up at night? Is the thought that the next Governor of South Carolina might not have the courage to lead... that the next Governor of South Carolina might not have the courage to veto irresponsible spending.... that the next Governor of South Carolina might not look to Washington and the Obama administration and say, "No, not in South Carolina!"
The opposite of freedom is tyranny, and Edmund Burke once said that
all that is necessary for tyranny to prosper is for good men to do nothing. We've got a lot of good guys, we really do. We've got a lot of good people running for Governor, we really do. The question is, which one will stand up on principle and do the right thing at the right time for the right reason and do it the right way?
True leadership demands that we step outside of our comfort zone.
True leadership demands that we act and be not afraid.
From the moment I first ran for office I've been stepping outside of my comfort zone, and I can assure you I am not about to stop now!
I've learned a few things over the years, but the longer I serve the more convinced I am that when we govern according to our Republican truth; when we govern according to our founding principles we succeed in protecting life, we succeed in protecting freedom, and as a result we win elections.
For faith, for family and for freedom, I ask that you join our campaign for Governor of South Carolina. I'm Larry Grooms. Thank you and God bless.