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Deerin announces bid for South Carolina Sec of State

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Virginia “Ginny” Deerin declared her candidacy for South Carolina Secretary of State on February 8 while attending the state Democratic Party’s issues conference in Greenville.

She’ll face Republican incumbent Mark Hammond for the office, which oversees charities, registers trademarks, controls business filings, and regulates cable television in the state.

“I want to reduce the budget, cut regulations, and improve customer service,” she said in a press release announcement.

Deerin’s own experience with the office in her roles of consultant to businesses and nonprofit organizations helped her define those goals, she says.

“(T)he Secretary of State’s office, over the years, has grown into a multi-million dollar operation getting way too involved in the business of nonprofits and companies(.) Because I’ve experienced first-hand the inefficiencies of the office, I can eliminate them.”

She’d also fine-tune the office, she promises.

“There has been a growing number of rules and regulations,” says Deerin, “most having to do with the nonprofit sector. Because I have worked successfully in that sector, I can identify unnecessary and cumbersome regulations and get rid of them.”

A historic lack of women in South Carolina government also prodded her to run, she says.

“Since our state became a state in 1788, there’ve been only four women elected to statewide office.”

Deerin’s taken on this issue in other ways, too, last year cofounding Project XX SC, a nonprofit organization with goals “to address and alleviate the unacceptable gender imbalance in our state’s political system.”

South Carolina currently ranks last in presence of women in state government, with only 8.8 percent.

The Sullivan’s Island resident has never run for office before, but has worked re-election campaigns for Charleston Mayor Joe Riley.