The Race for the Fightin’ Fourth – Part 2

February 8, 2009 by  
Filed under SC Politics

Andrew Smart, potential candidate for Congress

Andrew Smart, potential candidate for Congress

This is the second segment in a series of interviews for known candidates that are entering the 4th District Congressional Race.  No portion of this article or the following articles in this series represents an endorsement made by Gary Coats or The Conservativist.

Thursday night  we had the privilege to meet with Andrew Smart at a Zaxby’s in Duncan.  It was a great hour long meeting to discuss the issues and his eventual plans on entering the race against Bob Inglis in 2010.  This interview is not an official announcement, it is scheduled in the weeks to come.

Andrew Smart is the owner of Duke’s Sandwich Company and Duke’ Sandwich Productions.  Andrew (30), graduated from Wingate College with a degree in History and played football at Clemson and Wingate.  His wife, Julie, is currently working on her Ph.D at Clemson and they are both members of Taylors First Baptist Church.

Andrew said he is considering a run for this office for multiple reasons.  He believes that there needs to be a new voice promoting conservativism and it is time for a new generation to lead our nation.

“More people our age should be involved and concerned with our nation.”

We asked Andrew about what he thought the Republican Party needed to do to get back on track.  He said first and foremost, Republicans must define what they are going to be.  He believe the party sold out to the people and that he was going to stand and lead on his conservative principles.

“Leadership always stands on principle”

When asked what the biggest issues in the primary would be, he stated that there were 4 big issues that came to mind.

The first and foremost would be the economy and economics.  He believes that the government needs to take more time and analyze the true problems and address them with a solid plan and not one thrown together for a Sunday morning interview.

“Our economy cannot be fixed over night.  You cannot just throw money at problems and think that it is going to solve it.”

He believes that healthcare is the next issue and believes that it may be the next bubble to burst.

“One brush stroke (legislation) will not fix our problems.”

We as American’s should take more interest in preventative medicine.  And then he said the magic words, Personal Responsibility and Accontability. At the time of our interview, he was working on a plan for the healthcare industry.

Education is the next issue that needs to be addressed.  In his personal opinion, education is a national security matter.  Many firms that he has been in discussions with have told them that American’s are not graduating.   He is looking at methods to improve education, including school choice.  On a side note, Andrew is a member of a charter school board.

Last but not least was the fight for our conservative values.  He said the people must continue to fight to preserve there values.  He believes that legislation will not be the cause of our loss of values, but activist judges.

We asked his opinion on the role of government in the markets.  He stated the one role government should be doing is preventing the monopolization of markets.  From his personal experience, he states that the government gets in the way of business.  The USDA houses an office in one of his businesses.  Mandates are passed down to them regularly and he is not looking forward to the new regulations from the recent peanut butter crisis.

Synopsis:
Smart proved to us that he could give Inglis a challenge into the final weeks into the primary.  His posture and personality shows a lot of confidence, a strong work ethic, charisma and passion.  All of these will be needed to win voters in a long campaign.  A historian by education, businessman by trade, Smart will be able to craft solutions to American’s problems and have the knowledge to avoid mistakes of past.  We look forward to see how his campaign develops.

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  • http://earlcapps.blogspot.com Earl Capps

    I don’t mean to knock your assessment, but if he’s going to give Inglis a race in the closing weeks, it will take resources, and having some political experience will be helpful as well. I didn’t see any of that discussed in your interview, nor did I see where he’s really much different than Inglis, except for his age.

    In my experience, most people who decide to start at the top in politics are either kooks or extremely naive. If this guy wants to become a serious candidate for a major league office, he would be wise to start in the trenches, pay his dues, learn the ropes and build the kind of support networks necessary to wage a strong candidacy.

  • Back Bencher

    Poor Earl forgets his history. Bob Inglis – no public office experience in 1992. Jim DeMint – no public office experience in 1998. Mark Sanford – no public office experience in 1994. Lindsey Graham – 1 term in the SC House representing only 1 county, than wins a congressional seat representing 10 counties. Henry McMaster – no public office experience in 2002 (granted, he was known to the GOP). Even Thomas Ravenel (who has no future in public office) – no public office experience in 2006.

    Some folks only want to be a Congressman. Some folks only want to be a state senator. Why not run for the office you really want to serve in and be done with it? Earl’s way of thinking is old and outdated (not unlike a ponytail). I say let folks run for the office they really want. If they lose, they lose. But let them run for whatever office they choose.

  • Greenville_GOP

    Back Bencher–just wanted to point out that none of the examples you mentioned were of a challenger defeating an incumbant in a party primary election. So Andrew Smart’s potential challenge of incumbant Inglis in a Republican primary is a different political situation. Earl offers a very observant analysis of what tend to hapen when people with little name recognition and involvement in the political process leap forward and begin with a run for high office like Congress or Senate. May be unfortunate, but that is how it is.

    Other than Smart and Christina Jeffrey, everything I have heard is that there are still two more potential and serious GOP challengers to Inglis – one a member of the State Legislature and the other from the business community who is well-connected and has lots of money. Anyway, if Smart and/or Jeffrey can get organized and gain some traction in certain circles, a primary with three, four, or five credible Republicans should at least force Inglis into a runoff, where anything can happen.

  • http://earlcapps.blogspot.com Earl Capps

    Back – not counting your personal jab, your response is a bit misleading.

    Ravenel had years of experience in politics. In fact I attended a fundraiser he hosted for Inglis for Senate in ’98 with Bob Dole. McMaster was the GOP US Senate candidate in ’86, GOP candidate for Lt. Gov in ’90 and spent a number of years as SCGOP chair.

    DeMint had worked on Inglis’ campaigns. I think he was the creative director in Inglis’ 1992 congressional upset of Patterson. Graham had been active in the GOP for years and had contacts throughout the region prior to actually running for office.

    There are very few examples of Congressional incumbents getting “primaried”, but far more of incumbents getting nailed in general elections in bad years, such as 1980, 1994, 2006 and 2008, when the swing vote goes against their party.

    Of the people you named, if your claims were true, it would represent a very small fraction of people holding public office at higher levels. Remove the examples who did have some seasoning and you get to almost zero.

    This guy would be smart to sit back, get involved in politics, learn the ropes and make connections and work his way up the ladder. He seems like a good guy and I hate when good people come into politics meaning well, not knowing what they’re doing, get flattened and go away disillusioned.

  • Lenox

    Andrew Smart For Congress…..What a Laugh!!!
    Just heard Andrew Smart is running for Congress and I am laughing hysterically!!! He says he understands small business. Someone needs to ask him about how successful his franchise business was. It is my opinion his Grandfather and Father probably understood how small business works, but I would not invest my money or political vote with this guy, Andy Smart. Inglis might as well be running against Sponge Bob Square Pants. It would have been more appropriate for Andy to make this announcement in the Sunday morning comics!! LOL!!!

  • LMA

    Andrew Smart quotes….
    “My background is small businees. I understand what it takes to keep the doors open.” Wait a minute, how many franchises did he sell? Now tell me, how many franchises are still “open”? Georgia-Closed…. Anderson – Closed…. Easley – CLosed… Simpsonville – Closed… Clemson – Closed… Can someone tell me if Spartanburg and Myrtle Beach are still operating? What about the Woodruff Rd location? Open, how’s the initial franchisee doing? I wouldn’t trust this guy with my tax dollars! Ask the people that opened one of the franchises, how it worked out for them!

  • LMA

    Earl, you nailed that one! “Kooks or extremely naive”… add arrogant and self absorbed to the equation and you’ve figured it out. Earl and BB are dicussing “experience”… if you’re discussing “success” and “experience”, does “inheritance” fit into the equation?

    Success – “performance or achievement.
    Experience – “Knowledge or practical wisdom.”
    Inheritance – “The practice of passing on property.”

    Inheriting an 80 year old business, in my opinion, is not proven experience or success.

  • LMA

    By the way, why didn’t they interfview Andy at the Duke Sandwich Company in Duncan? Oh…….it is closed, as well.

    • Lisa Ault

      Myrtle Beach Duke’s is closed as well, it was only open a year or less.

  • MTS

    For those of you who have zero clue Andrew Smart has built a multi million dollar business with his manufacturing company. Yes the franchising part of the business didn’t work out but not because he did it wrong. My company did business with him with the franchising part and now his manufacturing company. He is becoming one of our largest customers. So yes I support him 100% he is a man of character and has always lived up to his obligations which I can’t say about all my customers. So LMA and Lenox you have zero clue and to bring in his father is pretty low. By the way LAM you bring up Duncan which I live near Andrew Smart shut down that location because he wasn’t going to have a location in the same complex that housed a whore house beside him but I guess you forgot about that place.

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