Winthrop History Professor Visited the White House as Mayor of the County Seat

Staff Report From York County CEO

Friday, September 14th, 2018

Winthrop University History Professor Edward Lee `83 visited the White House on Sept. 6 as one of more than 100 S.C. government leaders.

During the quick trip to the nation’s capital, Lee heard briefings from administration officials in government affairs, education, the budget, communications and transportation. The long-time mayor of York, South Carolina, returned with a list of names, emails and phone numbers of key people in Washington, D.C.

“Having some of these federal emergency contacts could be very helpful with Hurricane Florence approaching,” said Lee, who has emphasized infrastructure during his tenure as mayor.

The point of the gathering, Lee said, was to see how the federal government can aid local governments with the opioid crisis, natural disasters and other issues of the day. The federal officials also stressed Trump’s support of building up agriculture and the Palmetto State’s role as an agriculture state.

Kellyanne Conway, senior advisor for President Trump, told the local government officials that the president is very fond of South Carolina. The president tapped then S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley to become the Ambassador to the United Nations and U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Current S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster was an early supporter of Trump when he began his run for the presidency, and Trump has campaigned for him during his election.

“There is a long list of South Carolinians who work for the Trump administration,” Lee said, including former S.C. State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais, who is deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

Lee asked Zais about the administration’s commitment to public education, which Zais said is supported, along with school choice.

The White House tweeted after “South Carolina Day” had concluded that the Palmetto State was the 35th state welcomed to the White House.