Exactly two months ago, I stood on my front porch in Florence and announced my candidacy for governor. I did not have a campaign staff—just a clear commitment and vision to serve my home state of South Carolina. I knew then in my heart there were big problems that I could help solve, and there were many people who needed a helping hand. Armed with support from my friends and family, I stepped forward into what was largely unknown.
Well we’ve come a long way in a short amount of time.
Today, I have an organized campaign, the backing of many people and, importantly, an exceptional running-mate in John Scott. I’ve attended county conventions in every corner of South Carolina, spoken on gubernatorial panels, and shaken hundreds if not thousands of hands. And I have been listening. I’ve made new friends, reconnected with old ones, and today I am clearer than ever before that I’m doing the right thing.
The next two months, leading up to the June 12 primary, will be challenging, exhilarating, and probably exhausting. But there will always be times when I am able to take a moment and tell you about this path I’m on. It won’t be every day, but I entered this race, in part, to speak about what matters to me and to South Carolina. And so, maybe early in the morning, or maybe late at night, I’ll have a chance to share a part of this journey with you.
Let me start with this: yesterday afternoon, after Easter service and lunch at my friend’s farm, I walked around my neighborhood in Florence, which was in glorious spring bloom. I was thinking about some of the things I’ve heard on the campaign trail, when all of a sudden a little black car passed me. Hanging out the front window were two fluffy black dogs and driving the driver was a woman I didn’t know. She smiled at me and gave me the thumbs-up. As she drove away, I saw that her car had a “Willis for Governor” sticker. That was my sign for yesterday: that others, even people I don’t know, are on this path with me and I’m so thankful for that.