Lonnie Smith grew up questioning his world, including why certain people got elected in South Carolina. The 28-year-old Conway man can still remember going to church in 2004 when George W. Bush was running for president. He kept hearing people in the pews describe the Texas Republican as “a good person and a good Christian man.” “Would you go to the plumber with the Christian fish on the back of their truck or would you go with the one who is going to do the best job?” Smith remembers asking a fellow believer one Sunday.
“I got a lot of pushback for that. But that’s just how I always think about politics: I try to gauge who would be the best fit based on the job duties and not based on their political party.”
Just a few days ago the S.C. Republican Party took a step toward a system that would bar people who do not pick an allegiance to a political party from voting in either of the major parties’ primaries.