Where Republican candidates Timmons and Morgan stand on three issues

Gun Rights

With early voting underway and the June 11 primary approaching, candidates vying for the Republican nomination to represent South Carolina’s 4th congressional district continue to try to show voters who’s more conservative.

State Rep. Adam Morgan (R-Greenville) seeks to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep. William Timmons. Both tout their conservative credentials. 

Morgan, backed by U.S. Representative Ralph Norman, who represents South Carolina’s 5th congressional district and the state’s Freedom Caucus, argues Timmons is not conservative enough and promises Adams will be a conservative warrior if elected to Congress. 

Timmons, endorsed by former President Donald Trump, says his record shows he’s a dedicated conservative leader. 

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Here’s where the candidates stand on some key issues. 

Immigration 

Timmons and Morgan have mentioned immigration and border security throughout their campaigns. According to Pew Research, Americans citing immigration as a top priority has increased by 18 percentage points throughout President Joe Biden’s first term, with the change mostly coming from Republicans. 

“I have been to the border and seen firsthand the challenges our border patrol agents face. We need comprehensive immigration reform to solve the root causes of this crisis and common-sense border security measures,” Timmons says on his campaign website. I supported President Trump in building the border wall and will fight to make sure it is finished.” 

Timmons also voted for the Secure the Border Act in 2023, which addresses border security and would have created limits to asylum eligibility. 

Morgan also refers to border security in his campaign, stating that the border is “wide open.” 

“If elected, I will work to cut funding from unessential government agencies and projects and move the money to fully fund border security and to build the wall,” Morgan says. “Our law enforcement tasked with protecting our border should be receiving the best training and equipment possible for the purpose of protecting American soil. 

In 2022, Morgan voted for a bill that would have created the South Carolina Illegal Immigration Enforcement Unit within the state law enforcement division.

LGBTQ issues 

Human Rights Campaign rated Timmons with a “0” after he voted “no” on certain bills, such as the Equality Act, a bill made to ensure LGBTQ people are not discriminated against in employment and housing, and the Respect for Marriage Act, which recognizes the validity of same-sex and interracial marriages. 

More: How South Carolina’s congressional delegation and others reacted to Trump’s conviction

Morgan voted for House Bill 4624, which banned certain medical care for transgender youth, such as puberty blockers or hormone therapy, and also required school principals and vice principals to inform a parent if a child requests to go by another name or change their pronouns. He was also present for the ceremonial signing of the bill hosted by Gov. McMaster on May 29. 

Morgan also voted against House Bill 3104, a bill that would have increased penalties for those convicted of committing a crime against someone due to their race, gender, or sexual orientation. 

Second Amendment 

The National Rifle Association’s political action committee, NRA-PVF, rates Timmons and Morgan with an “A” but officially endorses Timmons. The incumbent congressman, who calls himself a proud gun owner, promises on his campaign website that “no one will fight harder to protect and preserve our 2nd Amendment rights and our right to defend ourselves and our families.”  

Morgan voted for the bill legalizing permitless firearm carry, which McMaster then signed into law in March. 

“Never forget our 2nd Amendment right secures all other rights,” Morgan said after South Carolina adopted a law legalizing permitless firearm carry earlier this year. 

Savannah Moss covers politics for the Greenville News. Reach her at smoss@gannett.com or follow her on X @Savmoss.

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