Statewide Democratic candidates campaign in Summerville

  • Saturday, August 9, 2014

Leslie Cantu/Journal Scene Gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen greets Dorchester County Democratic Party chair Ethel Campbell.

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Dorchester isn’t known as Democratic territory; a trio of statewide candidates acknowledged as much when they said today they expected no more than 25 people at a campaign event at Bethel AME Church on South Main Street.

So they were pleasantly surprised by the turnout. A crowd of probably twice as much as predicted filled a community room at the church.

State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, running for governor against incumbent Nikki Haley; state Rep. Bakari Sellers, running for lieutenant governor against Henry McMaster; and state Sen. Brad Hutto, running for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Lindsey Graham, got the small crowd fired up.

Past elections to the contrary, they predicted success this November.

Sheheen ran down a list of Haley’s faults from the Democrats’ point of view, saying she’s placed “flunkies” in state agencies and refused Medicaid money.

But, he said, he’s not running just because of what’s happened in the last four years.

“We are here because we are going to do great things together, in the next four years,” he said.

He touted universal 4-year-old pre-K, pledged to accept additional Medicaid money, and promised to fix “crumbling roads” and “dangerous bridges.”

Sellers promised to push for a tax credit for caregivers to the elderly and an expansion of the Homestead Exemption, a property tax credit for homeowners over the age of 65.

Hutto lambasted Graham for being more interested in foreign policy than South Carolina.

“He’s talking about Benghazi. I want to talk about Barnwell. …He’s talking about Syria. I want to talk about Summerville and St. George,” he said.

Rebekah Patrick, running against state Rep. Chris Murphy, and Damian Daly, running against state Rep. Jenny Horne, also spoke.

Read more in Wednesday’s Journal Scene.

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