Jim Rex has a word for you: turnaround.

On a statewide tour announcing his candidacy, the new Democratic gubernatorial candidate laid out a vision for South Carolina that would put Jay Leno and Jon Stewart into a deep depression.

But our state officials aren’t responsible for helping comedy writers, Rex said at a Charleston press conference.

“I don’t mind being criticized, but I don’t like being laughed at,” he said.

Frustration with the Sanford scandal is a frequent candidate talking point this election cycle, along with bringing new jobs to South Carolina.

Rex says voters need to learn their lesson with Sanford and look beyond campaign talking points. He points to his success before being elected to statewide office in 2006, as well as his work in the last three years improving graduation rates and encouraging innovative programs that preserve public education.

“We need to be much more selective and much more critical,” he said. “You’ve got to have a track record that indicates you know what to do, not just how to say it. And you’ve got to be willing to work at it. This is hard work: promoting the state of South Carolina and repairing this damaged image.”