COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Catherine Templeton made it official: She's running to be South Carolina's next Governor.
Though the campaign started months ago, Friday, March 16 was the first day for candidates to officially file the necessary campaign documents.
Templeton sat down exclusively with WIS, in her first interview after filing. She is a former advisor to many companies in the private sector and was tapped by former Governor Nikki Haley to lead the State Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
Templeton says she is running as a conservative outsider, committed to reforming state government, with a track record of results.
"Governor Haley said 'Go and reform government'. So we went in, and in the first three or four months we shrunk government by 25%. We helped 1 in 4 bureaucrats get back in the private sector. In the first year and a half, we cut $68 million in spending so that's good for the taxpayers. You know, politicians will tell you they want to cut government, they want to cut spending, they want to deregulate... I actually have." Templeton said.
This is the first time Templeton has run for public office, and says if elected, she plans to root out corruption in the State House. She also promises to put the state government back into the hands of the citizens of South Carolina.
Templeton described her record of reform, saying she was instrumental in laying the groundwork for what would become the corruption probe which led to the indictment of former State Representative Rick Quinn.
When asked what she thought of Quinn's sentence, Templeton said, "When I'm governor there will be a law that if we elect you to protect our money- you can't have any for yourself or your family. It's our money to be done with what we need you to do with it, first of all. And second of all, if you do..there will be harsh criminal penalties. What happened recently with the corruption probe is a complete and utter travesty. I don't fault the judge. I don't fault the prosecutor. I fault the law."
Templeton also pushed back against a recent political ad from Governor Henry McMaster which aligned Templeton with a "Never Trump" PAC. Templeton said she supports the President, and pointed out that she even met with President Trump in Trump Tower about a potential spot in his administration.
A strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, Templeton says she carries a concealed weapon for her protection.
Catherine Templeton is a Columbia native, and graduated from Irmo High School. She later graduated from Wofford College. She is married, and the mother of three children.
Stay with WIS for the latest in the race for South Carolina Governor.