Bill Kimler- South Carolina – State House District 13
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
After earning a Masters in Physics and in Teaching, I spent a while teaching high school and college classes. After that, I entered into a 25 year career as an IT professional, becoming CIO of a $4 billion food distribution company. I’ve served as the Chair of the Greenwood County Democratic Party since 2020 and love my life in Greenwood, SC with my wife and two step-daughters.
Why are you running?
The South Carolina General Assembly has ceased to be one that prioritizes issues and pursues solutions based on facts and evidence. It has become a tug-of-war between very conservative members and ultra right-wing radicals with the few independent and liberal leaning members completely marginalized. I aim to help bring balance and sanity back to the legislative process, being a loud and firm voice for a rational and deliberative method of solving the big issues that face our state.
What are the 3 biggest issues facing your community?
1. Alcohol and opioid addiction
2. Supporting our public education system
3. Gun violence in our community
How do you propose to solve those problems?
No one politician can ever claim to have the sole answer to any problem. Nor should anyone remain so rigid to their beliefs that new evidence or ideas fail to take hold. For the issues I’ve listed I will always seek out the experts, those who live and breath tackling those problems every day.
Every proposed solution must have a way to measure the outcome so that we can see what works, what doesn’t, adjust if necessary, and have accountability for the money and resources being invested. Decisions must be rooted in measurable data. We must always be willing to try new ideas and share with the community all successes and failures in the process.
What is your stance on environmental and climate concerns that are facing your community?
The biggest challenge we have are large corporations prioritizing business profit and the promise of jobs over safe drinking water, breathable air, and sustainable ecosystem of biodiversity. From protecting the biointegrity of Lake Greenwood to holding plastics melting companies accountable to strict pollution guidelines, we must never stop fighting to keep the only planet we have sustainable for generations to come.
What commonsense gun safety measures would have the most impact on your community?
For every crime committed using a gun, a full investigation must be performed on the lawfulness of the criminal’s possession of that weapon. If the data shows, as many claim, that the majority of gun violence is committed using stolen weapons, then we must pull out all the stops to reduce the opportunity of gun theft, including requirements to immediately report stolen weapons, implementing safe storage laws, and increasing the penalties for possession of stolen guns.
How would criminal justice reforms impact your community?
Our law enforcement officers put their lives at risk every day and their compensation, training, and the resources made available ought to be commensurate to that risk. Along with that we need to be absolutely transparent and accountable for those that abuse the power on loan to them from the community.
We are fortunate to have in Greenwood a Sheriff’s office and City police department that work hard to build relationships with the citizens that they serve and protect. We must continue to improve upon that by opening lines of communication with those who feel their Constitutional rights have been violated and have an independent, impartial review board investigate and assess the validity of those claims. The existence of such a board would have a tremendous impact on the faith the community has in our police force.
How would you work to protect a woman’s reproductive health?
The unfortunate fact is that the Supreme Court this year will determine much of what a state is allowed to do to control a women’s choice of medical treatment.
Where I can, I will work hard with the medical community and local activists to do everything we can to help reduce the frequency with which women are forced to make such difficult decisions. Effective sex education, contraceptive availability, and funding for support services for expectant mothers would go a long way to reaching a common goal of reducing unwanted pregnancies. At the same time, I will fight tooth and nail against any attempt to impose a religious definition of personhood into law and fight extremist views that put women’s lives in danger or outlaws effective fertility options like in-vitro fertilization.
What measures would you advocate to ensure that your constituents have the right to vote?
Many argue that the right to vote is not under attack in South Carolina. However, initiatives that affect one’s access to cast a vote in the name of election integrity cannot be allowed if preventing the one illegal ballot comes at the expense of 1000 disenfranchised voters.
I believe in automatic voter registration at the DMV, a fixed period of 2 weeks for early no-excuse voting, and funding initiatives that encourage participation in our democratic process.
My campaign theme is: “Facts matter. Honest matters. Truth matters.”
I’ve seen far too much testimony in Columbia from indisputable experts get completely pushed aside in favor of extreme ideology. It’s time to bring sanity back to the State House and work in a more deliberative, fact-based manner with proper prioritization of issues that affect us all.
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