Conservative Republican Kathy Landing, 56, was in Beaufort for a meet-and-greet at Panini’s Monday, having announced her candidacy for Congress earlier that day. A businesswoman, financial planner, military wife, mother and public servant from Mount Pleasant, Landing is hoping to unseat Democrat Joe Cunningham in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District.
With Landing’s announcement, three Republicans have now formally challenged Cunningham for the seat he won in 2018. The two other declared challengers — Beaufort County Councilman Mike Covert and Hilton Head Island teacher Logan Cunningham, who is not related to the congressman — both live in Bluffton.
Kathy Landing spoke to the group at Panini’s then sat down briefly with The Island News.
On her reasons for running:
“Today, we can truly say America is strong and thriving, but Washington remains broken. Congress seems lost and confused, with vicious partisan politics, endless attacks on our President, sideshows of attention-getting political stunts, and a lack of focus on what we need our representatives to do to solve the problems we still face as a nation. I can no longer sit by and watch this, and I am running to restore dignity and focus to the seat that belongs to you.
“We are all tired of Congress being entirely focused on investigating our successful President, while failing to act on their primary duties and what we need most – a responsible and balanced budget, improved infrastructure, a fix to the broken healthcare system, and most importantly, a commitment to keep American families safe.
“I am running for Congress to provide solutions to the issues most important to us in the Lowcountry, just as I have done as a [Mount Pleasant] Town Council Member working on infrastructure improvements, traffic relief, attracting high quality jobs, and improving our quality of life.”
On the incumbent, Joe Cunningham:
“We were told during the last election cycle that our current Congressman would put ‘Lowcountry over party.’ Now, he has a voting record to examine so we can see how that is going. According to FiveThirtyEight, he has the least bipartisan voting record possible, voting in favor of President Trump’s positions 0% of the time. Instead, according to ProPublica.org, out of over 235 votes cast so far, he has voted 84% with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 87% with Adam Schiff, and 90% with Maxine Waters. Does this sound like Lowcountry over party to you? Are these the values of the 1stDistrict of South Carolina, or are they the liberal values of California or the Bronx?
“… Our current Congressman may be a nice guy, but the Lowcountry needs a strong leader in Congress that truly represents the majority of voices in SC1… Rather than attention-seeking stunts, we need a more thoughtful, and dare I say, mature approach in Congress.”
“… Like carrying a six-pack of beer onto the Congressional floor. It was probably a mistake, maybe even an honest mistake, and he was thrown out of Congress. Some people might say, ‘Oh, that’s funny.’ But there is a decorum associated with Congress and I feel like you should find out what the rules are before you start doing things off the cuff. Also, he got a lot of attention for blowing an air horn when he was trying to make a point about how loud seismic testing might be to the ears of mammals under water. He talks a lot about being an ocean engineer. I don’t know if he actually worked as one; I know he wasn’t certified in that. I bring this up only because I was with the Duke Marine lab as an undergrad and I have a fair amount of knowledge too, and I feel like if you want to make a point about seismic testing you don’t have to necessarily kill everybody’s ears with an air horn. You can make that point without making it a stunt.”
On offshore drilling:
“During the last election, our current Congressman stood for one issue above anything else. He was against offshore drilling. I stand before you now to declare that I am absolutely and unequivocally against offshore drilling and seismic testing for the South Carolina coastline.”
“We know that Obamacare is not paying for itself and that it needs bailouts from time to time just to keep going. When the first constructed the Affordable Care Act – I hate to call it that because it’s not affordable – they missed the mark on the main idea. We wanted to cover more people with insurance, certainly, but bringing down health care costs needed to be done. And that wasn’t addressed at all. There are so many things we can do to bring costs down. I think the President is working on some things right now that are potentially worthwhile in terms of getting vendors and hospitals and doctors to show the real costs as opposed to having these things that are adjusted after. I have ideas on all these things, but what we’re going to be doing is fully forming my positions on each issue as we move forward. We do have a lot of this covered already on my website, for instance my thoughts on pre-existing conditions…”
On being pro-life:
“[I am someone] who understands, through my volunteer work with crisis pregnancy centers, that we can and must do a better job of supporting women who feel helpless or trapped in unwanted pregnancies, making it substantially easier for them to carry to term, making adoption more readily available if they still cannot or do not want to raise the babies, and helping make the children’s lives legacies of love after birth by providing true support for the family.”
On supporting the Second Amendment:
“We deserve a member of Congress who understands the risks to individual liberty and our country’s freedoms when we try to restrict this critically important right. And oh, by the way, I do have a Concealed Weapons Permit and own a 9mm Smith & Wesson Shield.”
For more information about Kathy Landing and her positions, visit www.kathylanding.com
Above: Kathy Landing, center, discusses her campaign on Monday with Kandy Gallagher, left, and Marian Sheldrake prior after her official announcement of her candidacy for the 1st Congressional District seat being held by Democrat Joe Cunningham. Photo by Bob Sofaly