Jobs, higher education and crime dominated the final South Carolina gubernatorial debate between Democrat Vincent Sheheen and Republican Nikki Haley prior to Tuesday’s election.
The Florence debate, hosted by Francis Marion and Coastal Carolina universities, had an on-site audience of more than 400 and was broadcast nationally on C-SPAN.
The two candidates differed on ways to limit college costs, expand employment opportunities and how best to retain young graduates in South Carolina. The two candidates also differed on how to pay for Interstate 73, which would connect Myrtle Beach to the Midwest and is the Pee Dee region’s top economic development project.
Haley said the state should provide a budget for colleges and universities with no strings attached, and allow those schools to decide the best use. If schools hit targets in classroom funding, graduation rates, the percentage of in-state students and economic development, those schools would receive more money.