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GOP lawmaker from Spartanburg proposes changes for candidates who want to run for office in South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina – A lawmaker from South Carolina, Sen. Josh Kimbrell, has raised concerns that many candidates who run for political office lack fundamental knowledge about how the government operates. To address this, he’s suggesting a change to the State Constitution. His proposal is that anyone wishing to run for office in South Carolina should first pass a test proving they understand the constitution well.

Sen. Kimbrell argues that it’s crucial for those in influential positions, who will be making decisions on laws impacting everyone in the state, to have a solid grasp of basic civics, especially regarding the constitutional framework of both the state and the nation.

Sen. Kimbrell has outlined a plan for the test, stating that it would be created, managed, and evaluated by the University of South Carolina School of Law. This test aims to measure a candidate’s fundamental understanding of both the state’s and the U.S. Constitution. The level of knowledge required would be similar to what the REACH Act demands.

The REACH Act of 2021 mandates that public high school students complete a course covering key American documents such as the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Federalist Papers.

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“There are people out there running for office that make promises they can’t possibly keep because they can’t legally do what they’re talking about doing,” Kimbrell said. “I think the public is better served when people run for office and serve in office know the duties, the powers, and the limitations of the office.”

Sen. Kimbrell (R-Spartanburg) mentioned that in South Carolina, like in other jobs such as real estate and law, people might need to pass a test to work. There’s a plan to ask voters if they think a civics test should be needed to run for office. This idea needs to get a lot of support in the legislature before people can vote on it.

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Senator Kimbrell believes many people in his area like the idea. He hopes it will lead to more discussions. He wants this rule to be passed and voted on, but also thinks it’s good that people are talking about how those in office should understand the Constitution. He sees this as a benefit for South Carolina’s citizens.

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