Catherine Templeton, a Republican candidate for governor in South Carolina, said in a recent campaign ad that she was given a gun to shoot snakes around a fishing trailer — and now she has her sights set on “snakes slithering around” the state capital.
Templeton holds up a .38-caliber revolver in ad, saying she was given the firearm by her grandfather to fend off snakes around their fishing trailer. The ad, called “Fair Play,” shows a snake coiled in the grass, and Templeton firing two shots.
“We can’t shoot the snakes slithering around Columbia, but we will end their poisonous big government ways,” Templeton, an attorney, said in the video.
According to the Charleston Post & Courier, Templeton did not actually shoot a snake.
Jared Leopold, a spokesperson for the Democratic Governors Association, said the ad “comes very close to threatening to shoot politicians,” on Twitter.
In a previous ad, Templeton said she made so many people angry when she worked for former Gov. Nikki Haley, who is now ambassador to the United Nations, that the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) instructed her to get a concealed weapons permit.
Templeton led the state’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation in 2011 until she took over as director of South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control in 2012.
“The State Law Enforcement Division actually called and said, ‘Catherine, we need you to get a concealed weapons permit; we need you to start carrying and we need you to protect yourself because you’ve made a lot of people mad,’” she said in the spot.
However, SLED spokesman Thom Berry told the Greenville News that he could not find proof the agency gave Templeton such a directive.
“It is not our practice to tell, instruct or order a person to obtain a concealed-weapons permit,” he told the newspaper.
On her campaign website, Templeton said she wants to “challenge the Concealed Weapons Permit so that we don’t have to pay a fee to the government to exercise our constitutional right to carry and our God given right to protect ourselves and our families.”
In another ad, Templeton called people who do not stand for the national anthem “spoiled” and “entitled.”
Templeton faces a crowded field of Republican contenders in the June 12 primary, including current Gov. Henry McMaster, who President Trump has endorsed. Businessman John Warren, Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant and former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill are also running.