Candidate Profile: Kathryn Whitaker

  • Feb 19, 2020
  • Kathryn Whitaker

Kathryn Whitaker, Candidate for SC Senate District 37

Why did you choose Emerge?

I heard A’shanti Gholar speak at a conference hosted in Charleston back in early 2017, and she talked about Emerge America and its 70%+ win rate for Democratic women it had trained. At the time, I lamented the fact we would likely not have a South Carolina Chapter anytime soon. So when the founding group organized and the call for applications opened, I jumped at the chance to be part of the inaugural class. Now that moment has come full circle for me as A’shanti was recently named President of Emerge America! I look forward to what’s next for this amazing organization under her leadership.


What office are you running for and why?

I am the Democratic candidate for South Carolina Senate District 37. My opponent has run unopposed for 16 years and is frankly too comfortable, regularly refusing to meet with people or talk to those who disagree with him. I am running to bring service back to politics and to ensure a clear and conscious voice for all the district’s constituents.


What is your vision for your community?

District 37 is 670 square miles covering parts of Berkeley and Charleston Counties, and the communities within it are diverse. What I’ve realized is we have the same issues whether we’re in suburban towns or rural communities. We want our children to be happy and healthy. We want good roads to drive on and reliable community services. And we want economic opportunity. These are the issues I will prioritize – those that affect our everyday quality of life – so that our communities are set up to thrive.


What/Who inspires you to run for office?

Our kids. Hannah is 12, and Cape is 9. I grew up in South Carolina, and I love raising our kids here. I believe in the good that government can do and feel called to do my part to help ensure a better future and more opportunity for all our children.


Which Democratic woman inspires you and why?

Mary Tinkler. Currently serving as Charleston County Treasurer, she is putting in the work and delivering real results for taxpayers, including implementing a tax installment plan for real property payments, establishing credit and debit payments for convenience, and working with the DMV to issue renewal decals from the Treasurer’s office. These are common sense changes that make taxpayers’ lives easier. She’s the kind of public servant I strive to be.


What’s one thing you gained from Emerge and would like to share with others?

I gained an amazing network of women around our state who I know I can rely on to go through this journey with me. They know me and share my values, and I am grateful to be among them.

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