From a field of four remaining candidates, yesterday Gloria Bromell-Tinubu took 52.44 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary for Congressional Dist. 7.
But after celebrating last night, she woke up only to learn her victory was being questioned, and directly by the state’s Democratic Party.
Votes for a former candidate, whose name remained on some ballots in the June 12 election, were removed from the total. Had those votes been included in the final tally, says SCDP chair Dick Harpootlian, Bromell-Tinubu would only have led the race with plurality.
Because a majority of 50 percent plus one is required to be declared a primary victor, Harpootlian says, a runoff election between Bromell-Tinubu and second-place finisher Preston Brittain should be required.
Former candidate Ted Vick formally withdrew from the race on May 25 after a DUI arrest the day before. Because electronic voting machines had already been programmed for the primary, Vick still received 2,340 votes in the race.
In a press release issued this morning, Harpootlian asked for the state Election Commission to return Vick’s votes to the total pool, and that a runoff election be scheduled.
“The Democratic Party does not want to disenfranchise any voter in South Carolina and by not counting the votes for Ted Vick, you are not counting the votes for over 2,300 people,” Harpootlian said. “Every vote counts.”
In the SCDP press release, Harpootlian cites Section 7-17-610 of the state’s Code of Law: “If a candidate for a single office is to be selected, and there is more than one person seeking nomination, the majority shall be ascertained by dividing the total vote cast for all candidates by two.”
However, it’s that same code that defends her victory by majority, Bromell-Tinubu says, implying that Harpootlian is overlooking true definition of the term “candidate.”
In a press release issued by her campaign this afternoon, she implies that same law “clearly states that Ted Vick was not a candidate in the race.
“To argue that the South Carolina Election Commission should count the votes of someone who wasn’t a candidate in the race is ridiculous.”
The Election Commission agrees with Bromell-Tinubu, too, according to Chris Whitmire, Director of Public Information for the commission. Because Vick had formally withdrawn, he was no longer an actual candidate whose votes could be counted.
The commission “will ask for legal advice from the Attorney General’s office,” Whitmire said, and its board of directors will have a formal meeting this Friday to certify the results of the primary elections.
Preston Brittain, however, is already banking on a decision that will favor his campaign. “I am proud to announce that we are in the runoff election,” he stated today.
In a separate press release, Brittain’s campaign manager John Keig said he would “oppose any effort to disenfranchise voters in the 7th District.”
Brittain received endorsement from over 20 elected Democratic officials in the state. He raised over $455,000 in campaign donations, almost 10 times the amount raised by Bromell-Tinubu, according to FEC records.
Brittain still fell 4,000 votes below Bromell-Tinubu’s count, however, finishing with 39.4 percent from the four-candidate field.
The Elections Commission will formally certify the primary results on Friday afternoon.
In the Republican primary for this same office, Andre Bauer and Tom Rice were the top two finishers from a slate of nine candidates. The two will compete in a June 26 runoff.
When is she going to leave the stage and return to the state capitol? That's a good question, says the South Carolina Democratic Party.
The SCDP chair has an answer or three to that question, too.
"Nikki Haley has spent the last month with her publicist, shuffling from talk show to photo shoot while the folks in South Carolina have spent their time trying to earn enough money to put the groceries on the table," says Dick Harpootlian.
“The only thing Nikki has worked hard at is becoming a pol-ebrity: a politician-celebrity. First it's Rod Blagojevich, then Sarah Palin. Now Nikki Haley wants her 15 minutes.”
Haley's official schedule for the month has consisted dominantly of media appearances and special-event speaking.
In the Apr. 30 election for new party chairman, the South Carolina Democratic Party picked attorney, former district solicitor and political consultant Dick Harpootlian, who wore the same party chair shoes from 1998 to 2003.
Harpootlian may have his hands full with the very impressive counterpart of the state’s Republican Party, though.
One week later on May 7, the state GOP elected a new party chair of outstanding accolades, too. Meet Chad Connelly, Amway salesman.
Yep – that’s right. Recruiting unemployed folks to peddle cheesy home products is his claim to fame. Connelly made it up the Amway ladder at least to Ruby Level, and even credits his personal success to the fraudulent, pyramid-scheming cult in his book “Freedom Tide.” (Just click here to read the rave reviews Connelly’s received from his own sales team!)
But Amway’s not the only one of Connelly’s ventures; he once operated the Sandlapper Group. A political consulting firm for state Republican candidates, Sandlapper became known for getting lots of out-of-state campaign donations, mostly from Howard Rich, the infamous New York Libertarian. That’s the same Howard Rich known to sneakily send multiple checks in maximum contribution amounts all from the same address, but under different business names, resulting in as much as half million dollars for GOP candidates in South Carolina every election year.
And even though it seems apparent that Sandlapper went out of business (well, it only got one of its six clients elected in 2008…), that didn’t bring Connelly down.
He kept his ties with Howard Rich, who paid Connelly $63,500 a year to lead the so-called “South Carolinians for Responsible Government,” which is nothing more than a pro-voucher front group operating a scheme to get public tax dollars to pay for private education.
And he’s on the board of Palmetto Family Council, too, the far-right group affiliated with the national Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council. Even though PFC claims it promotes “healthy marriage catalyst,” that didn’t stop them from quickly forgiving Mark Sanford after his Argentina affair, and even trying to cover for him on their website. And, yes, PFC is also in favor of giving public education funds to private schools, too.
So let’s do a recap on this guy and the positive attributes he brings to the SCGOP, and in direct comparison the new chair of the state’s Democratic Party:
Connelly - campaign law twister
Harpootlian - solicitor, prosecutor and enforcer of law
Connelly - failed campaign consultant
Harpootlian - SCDP chair who helped unseat a Republican governor after only one term, and for the first time in the history of our state
Connelly - strong foe of public education
Harpootlian - filer of the lawsuit that forced Gov. Sanford to accept the needed federal funds for our state's public schools
Connelly - successful Amway salesman
Harpootlian - successful attorney, campaign consultant and party chair
And why is this of such concern to local Democrats? Well, just think of how difficult of a job we'll have in the 2012 elections! With a guy like Connelly in the chair, we're in for some trouble, because his attributes will make Republicans seem so much better in comparison.
I mean, just think of the positive improvements Connelly could directly offer to our state! When South Carolina kids from middle-class households have no schools to attend, thanks to the SCGOP chucking the money over to private academies, they can work as door-to-door salesmen under Connelly’s sales scheme! And in doing so, the state could chop Medicaid even further by having those uneducated kids sell Amway’s Nutrilite™ products to our senior citizens.
South Carolina Republicans, you have us on the edge of our seats! You strategic plotters, you …
It had a juicy build-up in the weeks prior to, with competitive campaign tension that was covered by mainstream media across the Palmetto State, but yesterday’s annual convention of the South Carolina Democratic Party still closed with an encouraging tone.
Officer candidates had volunteers work the crowd for 90 minutes prior to opening the floor for official start of the event. Many hands got shook, signs were waved, and campaign stickers got stuck on the lapels, hats and shirts of practically all of the over 1,000 attending delegates.
And after a series of nominations and endorsements of the three candidates for party chair, delegates cast their votes on paper ballots, even despite formal objection to that procedure from one attendee.
Dick Harpootlian, who previously served as party chair from 1998 to 2003, was elected with 61 percent of the vote.
Phil Noble, the candidate with whom Harpootlian traded jabs through media for the past two weeks, took 32 percent, while Marion County’s party chair Lee Jenkins received 7 percent of the vote.
Frank Holleman, chair of the convention, announced the winner before opening the floor to further contests, and Noble later took the podium to congratulate Harpootlian on his victory.
The race for 1st Vice Chair was decided days before the convention when candidate Mike Evatt announced a suspension to his campaign. Jaime Harrison, an African-American delegate originally from Orangeburg, was sole eligible candidate for the office due to requirement that its holder be of different racial ethnicity from the party chair.
Harrison’s victory, even by default, was widely celebrated at the convention, and due to the impressive credentials he brings to the party.
While follow-up runoff elections were anticipated for the 2nd Vice Chair position, it only took one round to elect Melissa Watson to the seat. Plurality wins are not allowed, only majority, but Watson took over 50 percent of the 849 votes in the first round even though she had three opponents.
Carol Fowler, who did not seek reelection for her then-position of party chair, took 28 percent of the vote. Other candidates Sheila Gallagher and Kathy Hensley came in third and fourth, respectively.
A runoff was required to select a 3rd Vice Chair, however. A widely-endorsed Will Maxey took about 45 percent of the vote in the first round, while D.C. Swinton took 35 percent and Ra Shad Frazier-Gaines scored 20.
Frazier-Gaines’ following endorsement didn’t help Swinton in the second round, though, which went to Maxey 56-44.
Following officer elections, the delegation voted to approve proposed party resolutions, which included: recommendation for independent commission to review proposed new districts across the state; call for practice of auditing all voting machines following elections; and resolution to improve new voter representation and registration.
Additional resolutions were also introduced and approved, and were formal opposition to the photo ID requirement of voters that was forcibly introduced by state Republicans, and a formal statement of appreciation of outgoing party chair Carol Fowler.
Dorchester County delegates Nancy and Clayton Seufert introduced a third additional resolution from the floor, calling for proposal to support a “moral budget,” a theme that has been widely promoted across the state, including a formal demonstration at the steps of the capitol building in February. The Seufert’s resolution was approved by delegates.
At a luncheon immediately following the convention, Georgetown delegate Susan Smith called for a round of appreciation for outgoing SCDP executive director Jay Parmley, and presented Parmley with a parting gift from many state party activists. He served SCDP since 2007.
Parmley recently accepted the same position with the North Carolina Democratic Party, which is to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
The race for chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party may be rising in intensity, but many delegates are now breathing a sigh of relief with the latest update: the state executive committee resolved to use written ballots for its officer elections at this weekend's convention.
Whereas some party elections in previous years were decided by standing vote in which delegates could be immediately identified visually, this modification allows some anonymity. While ballots will still bear voters' names at the 2011 convention, delegates can at least maintain some inconspicuousness at the time of their vote.
Rumors of intimidation and even vote buying by candidate Dick Harpootlian and his supporters are circulating within the community and reached a new height Tuesday, when some delegates state they received phone calls directly from the Harpootlian.
Surprised to receive his direct call due to their open and established endorsement of Phil Noble for the position, these delegates claim Harpootlian's manner turned "arrogant" after they expressed continued support for Harpootlian's opponent during their conversations.
And during a teleconference call conducted by Noble, online comments to the facebook page of the South Carolina Democratic Women were made by declared Harpootlian supporters and staff who sneakily participated in the call. Their evaluative opinions and comments of the teleconference were quickly challenged and corrected by other participants, however. Comments last came to a close by a unifying request from Susan Smith, delegate and state executive committee representative from Georgetown County.
Lee Walter Jenkins, third candidate for chair, will join Noble and Harpootlian Wed. Apr. 27 for a candidate forum at North Charleston City Hall (2500 City Hall Ln in N. Charleston). Beginning at 6 p.m., most candidates for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Vice Chair will also be present.
Some staunch supporters of Dick Harpootlian to be next state Democratic Party chair assert that competitor Phil Noble didn’t contribute to campaign efforts in Charleston.
But Noble’s latest endorser, former party chairman of Charleston county, corrects those claims.
In a mass email submitted today to state delegates, Noble received formal endorsement from John Tecklenburg , who said “Phil’s insight and experience were critical to me in my role as (Charleston) County Chair.”
Harpootlian supporters previously issued claims that Noble contributed to a Republican candidate in 2002, and in retort to release of evidence of Harpootlian’s regular donations to GOP candidates. After having their claims against Noble refuted, though, and directly by the former director of the Federal Election Commission, supporters of the former party chair now claim that Noble did not offer regular contributions to local Democrats.
Harpootlian donated approximately $500,000 to Democratic candidates, he states.
While those monetary contributions are certainly appreciated, that’s not all we need from a state party chair, Tecklenburg says. “I’ve known Phil a long time and although (I) will admit to you that he’s not a wealthy man, I can assure you that he is rich in good ideas for our Party and for South Carolina, and believe that he has the leadership and organizational skills to lead our party back to success.”
Tecklenburg’s endorsement, which concludes “I believe our State Party would greatly benefit from Phil’s leadership today,” joins the endorsements and statements of support from over 250 party activists and state delegates, including current and former county party chairs, state executive committee members and national delegates.
Well, either term seems fitting right now. After all, some Harpootlian fans are online making the same demands as those rightwing loons.
At least my wife thinks so; after reading a comment thread on SC Soapbox, the first thing to pop out of Debbie’s mouth was “those people are just like the birthers!”
And her comparison is all too true. (I even made that known on that same thread, but doubt my comment will stay there very long…)
Y’all know about the Birthers, right? Birthers are the folks who claim the president was born in Kenya, thus eliminating his eligibility for the office; of course, people with IQs above that of a possum challenge those claims, stating the fact that Obama was born in Hawaii. The Birthers refuse to accept the counterargument, though, claiming they need official proof. When a Certificate of Live Birth is provided from the State of Hawaii, however, the Birthers claim it to not be a valid, original document. Now the Birthers demand more, claiming they must have an original birth certificate and directly from the president himself.
And the folks over in Soapbox land are making the same demands as the Birthers regarding the race for SCDP chair.
Harpootlian made claim that Noble donated to a Republican in 2002 (Phil Crane). That particular candidate’s campaign was fined and audited by the FEC, though, and for not properly identifying its contributors. In addition, that campaign had many other serious errors, even reporting contributions from two different Phil Nobles from two different addresses. When this is pointed out to the Har-birther-lians, though, they claim they need proof.
So I provide them with the records that verify my claims of invalid campaign reports for Crane – the record of arrest and conviction of that campaign treasurer, Chris Ward, who admitted he made up donor claims in order to cover his tracks of theft, and who is today in federal prison for those crimes.
But the Trump-ootlians say they still need more. So the Noble team actually provided official statement from Scott Thomas, who was director of the Federal Election Commission during the time of these shenanigans. Thomas stated “Noble’s name was fraudulently used by Ward and the Crane campaign.” He even offered his telephone number and email address so that anyone could contact him for further verification.
Get that, folks? The relevant director of the FEC himself says that the claims by Harpootlian aren’t true! Says it’s okay for doubters (birthers) to contact him directly for verification. Phil Noble’s claim that he never once contributed to a Republican candidate’s campaign (unlike Harpootlian … cough cough) are 100-percent valid!
But these Trump-ootlians/Harp-birther-lians still aren’t satisfied, and still won’t accept that they made a fraudulent claim! Because the FEC still has copy of the 2002 record that contained those fraudulent claims means these birther babes can still have doubt, they say.
“(T)he burden was definitely on Phil to prove it was, in fact, fraudulent,” says Laurin Manning, who operates the SC Soapbox website. Another commenter, T.J., says “I want a signed statement on FEC letterhead before I will believe Phil(.)”
That’s right, folks. Direct report from the FEC chair himself doesn’t qualify. They think Phil should be able to forcibly jump into the old, original FEC records and change them himself, even though they’re from nine years ago, and even though follow-up reports from the FEC (as well as the FBI, DOJ and even the damn Republican Party) refute those records. These Harpootlian fans refuse the first document provided by an FEC official, and now insist on some other FEC document.
And what’s that spell? B-I-R-T-H-E-R.
Well, if they’re going to continue that claim, then I’ll have to pull out another question myself. I refrained from making this comment before, because I thought it would making too much of a good thing – like attempting two extra points after a touchdown or something. But if the birthers are going to keep it up, well …
Campaign finance records are only available from the FEC’s website for a limited time. Go to its site right now, and you’ll find that the earliest records you can get are from the 2007-2008 election cycle.
Har-birther-lians, though, are using some initial filing of finance reports from a 2002 campaign for their argument. Where did they get them, then? How long has Harpootlian had them? And since these records are apparently from some inside source, doesn’t it stand to reason, then, that the Harpootlian team also had the info that disproved those records? Meaning that he/they knew all along that the claim was invalid, but chose to use it anyway? And hoped to overlook, if not suppress, the follow-up information that disproved the claim?
And does that mean that he/they thought we delegates were too dumb to be able to find out the truth?
Well, we have the truth. And if Har-birth-lians don’t want to believe it, well…let them stay at home and watch the election results on FOX News. We real SC Dems will be at the convention to elect a real party chair.
In closing, let me make the same offer here that I made to Laurin on her website: “You vote your candidate, I’ll vote mine, and I’ll buy you a cup of coffee after the election no matter who wins. (The donuts are on you, though).”
And I really, really, really want to talk to you about another project, too, one in which I’d like you to be featured. (I’m leaning towards scones, by the way.)
When this is over, we still have to work together. Don’t forget that this convention election is not a “we versus them” ordeal, either – we’re teammates selecting a team captain.
Now be a good teammate, folks, and lay off the birther trash. If you don’t, it’s going to cost you quite a few donuts.
As a state delegate of the South Carolina Democratic Party, I get to vote on who I hope to be next state party chair at the April 30 convention. And the selection has been a rather grueling process for me.
I mean, I kinda know one of the candidates (Phil Noble), got to meet and speak with another one on a recent occasion (Lee Walter Jenkins), and have only read about the other (Dick Harpootlian). That didn’t exactly leave me with enough information to make the most responsible choice, I thought.
So, to be a responsible delegate, I went to work and looked them all up, and even contacted other state delegates to get their input (about 30 of them, actually).
While all of those influences played a part in my decision, one mental image of contrast and comparison probably drew the last straw, leaving me with no other option, and one I now make with true, positive expression.
That’s the same choice of a wide majority of the folks I spoke with, too, who think Phil is the one candidate who can put our paddles in the proper political pool, and who can row the SCDP lifeboat in the right direction.
But before I go into any other details on Phil, though, let me give you my assessment of the remaining candidates, and why I had to eliminate them from my slate.
Jenkins is a good man. As party chair of Marion County, he maintains regular contact on strategic topics with other county parties. He has the right ideas for our party, too. I agree with him on just about everything he says, especially regarding the need for state party focus on the local and county level, where so much of the lowdown labor gets done, and which has much influence on many key voters. I also agree that the chair spot should be a paid position; to leave it as an unpaid honor seat restricts the general public (the true, everyday Democrats who do most of the work) from this position.
The specific duties and tasks he described for the chairman, however, seem more appropriate for the executive director’s position, or that of the 2nd Vice Chair. I hope that Jenkins will consider competing for one of those spots, instead. (Exec Director is a paid position, though, and not up for election.)
Dick Harpootlian is listed as the favored candidate by media, but not by a majority of the delegates I spoke with (who are openly for Phil Noble). And for those who do support him, they stand behind Harpootlian because of his previous record as state party chair, which he held from 1998 to 2003. They want him back in the chair seat because of his boldness and bluntness, they say, which they hope will return the party to victory in the 2012 elections, just like SCDP had in his first term.
But there’s where the deciding contrast set in. And it was those comments by his supporters that poured the contrast on the picture, too.
Da Candidate (Harpootlian) reminds me of Da Coach (Mike Ditka)
When I now think of Harpootlian, my mind always pops up an image of … Mike Ditka. (I recently made similar statement on SC Soapbox, too.)
I’m dead serious in that comment. No joke. I’m not making that up. Now, let me expound – please read on before your laughter produces so many tears in your eyes that you can’t legibly view the remainder of this article. I’m being serious in this comparison.
Ditka was a great coach of the Chicago Bears, just like Harpootlian did a lot for SCDP in his previous term.
Ditka won the Super Bowl; Harpootlian held the chair when Democrat Jim Hodges was elected governor of South Carolina.
Ditka developed a reputation for uncouth verbal discharges to the media and fans; we’ve all heard of Harpootlian’s infamous comments regarding the African-American vote (before he was state party chair), and his official party press release questioning Sen. Lindsey Graham’s sexual orientation, too.
Ditka left the Bears after a dismal season; Harpootlian resigned the chairman’s seat in 2003, after Hodges didn’t get re-elected.
And then one day about five years later after his dismissal from the Bears, Ditka attempted a comeback, taking the head coach spot for the New Orleans Saints (my very favorite team, by the way). He had big dreams and made big promises. Hoping for a return to victory and respect, millions of Saints fans awaited return of Super Bowl Mike.
But those millions soon learned that Ditka lost his fizzle. His insistence on using his old coaching style and an old playbook of old football strategies didn’t produce positive results in the newer NFL. The competition had him figured out and was well-prepared for him and his methods, and made it clear that they knew how to stop him on each and every play.
Ditka made insulting statements about his own Saints team on national media. He recruited poor talent at a very high cost that the team still pays for, and for which have the Saints been publicly ridiculed ever since. And in his short time in this head coach position, the team did even worse than before Ditka took the spot. The old strategy of the old Mike Ditka didn’t produce anything for the new New Orleans Saints. He was canned after three losing seasons, the last of which was a mere 3-13.
And this comparison of similarities has made me wonder, is Harpootlian today the same as Harpootlian of yesteryear? Will he produce the same Super Bowl results, or will he use some old playbook that the competition knows, is prepared for, and is ready to play against? (Please recall the SCGOP’s statement it hopes he wins the chair…) Will Harpootlian make dismal draft picks or sign costly player contracts that will leave the SCDP worse off than it was before he took the chair? And if things don’t turn out the way he hoped for, will Harpootlian do just like he did in his last term as party chair and simply resign, leaving us hanging?
It was the recent CNN coverage of Harpootlian on its website that solidified it for me. Harpootlian’s latest comments drew back images of his last term. In that one quick interview, he used sarcastic comments, insults and stabs to describe the current slate of potential Republican candidates for president, even describing two as overweight.
And don’t get me wrong; I enjoyed the hell out of reading them. Even hope to see and hear some more, too.
But I don’t think that’s the playbook for a state party chairman in the 2011 and 2012 seasons. For a mad as hell Democrat? Absolutely. For a prominent player in South Carolina politics? Why not? But for a state party chairman? I don’t think so, especially when I keep being reminded of how the old playbook might not work in the new ballgame on the new playing field.
I’m voting for Phil Noble, who has maintained consistent development and progress in the political scene, and who’s continued to move forward, welcoming new projects in new political environments.
I’m voting for Phil Noble, who is credited internationally with being the innovator of developing use of the Internet in political ventures.
I’m voting for Phil Noble, who started Politics Online, providing insight on use of Internet and other new media in political and civic projects.
I’m voting for Phil Noble, who was Resident Fellow of the Institute of Politics of the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University, who’s taught at the University of Amsterdam, and has served 10 other colleges around the world.
I’m voting for Phil Noble, who’s worked winning political campaigns not just in the U.S. (like Rep. Tip O’Neill, Rep. Bill Richardson and Pres. Barack Obama) but in 20 other countries, too, and who also worked in civic affairs projects of 45 different nations.
I’m voting for Phil Noble, who’s worked with the United Nations, Amnesty International and the European Union.
I’m voting for Phil Noble, who founded Palmetto Project, the community service group that addresses issues like health care, education, conservation and economic development.
I’m voting for Phil Noble, who is now president of the SC New Democrats, the organization originally founded by former U.S. Sec. of Education and former South Carolina Governor Dick Riley.
I’m voting for Phil Noble, who founded “One Laptop per Child SC,” the organization that has provided over 3,000 personal computers to young students in our state.
I’m voting for Phil Noble, the man who kept moving forward, and who made sure to bring Democratic issues right along with him with every forward step.
In other words, folks, I’m voting for the future of the South Carolina Democratic Party, and not its past.
If we’re stuck in a rut of bitter, dirty politics at the moment, then why try to move backwards in that rut, which we might only wind up right back in by using the same old playbook?
I’ll welcome Jenkins or Harpootlian with open arms, mind you, and have utmost respect for both, but I firmly believe that Phil Noble is the one candidate who can address our needs in the right way at the right time, and who can best take us in the correct direction.
Let’s move out of the rut. Let’s move forward.
Let’s elect Phil Noble.
Now, I know this “endorsement” might not mean much to very many. I don’t claim to be a political insider or campaign guru, after all. And I know that a couple of folks still doubt my dedication to the Democratic Party since my brief departure last year to run as a third party candidate (but please remember that I only did so to make sure there was an actual Democrat in the CD1 race).
I do hope that delegates will consider my opinion, though, when they select their choice for state party chair at the April 30 convention. I already know that a great majority of those whom I previously spoke with agree with me; I hope others who are undecided will follow this apparent majority.
And as for those who spoke to me in favor of Harpootlian, I ask you don’t hold it against me, cuz we still have lots of work to do. Together.
When it comes right down to it, all of us delegates need to remember that no matter who wins, let’s face it – after the election, we’ll all still be in the same boat. And I know each one of us is going to grab an oar and start rowing no matter who gets elected state party chair.
I was the CD1 Edwards delegate in 2008; I quickly jumped aboard the Obama campaign, however. And not just in my vote, but in bumper stickers, lawn signs, canvassing, telephone campaigning, party functions and – probably most assuring – my vote at the national convention.
Let’s continue this pattern of working together as move towards 2012 victories, and with Phil Noble as chairman.
The annual convention is less than a month away, and delegates of the South Carolina Democratic Party will have three declared candidates to choose from when they elect a new party chairperson.
There are discernible differences between these candidates, too.
For example, one’s been prominent in his county party, another is known as a previous state party leader, and the other has a national – if not international – name in politics.
One entered the race only after prodding from other active Democrats, another just very recently announced his campaign by email, and the remaining candidate has been telling the public for months that he was only considering the contest.
But all three share the same goals for the future of the SCDP. They all want success in upcoming elections to ascertain not just Democratic presence, but proper representation. Equal representation. And actual citizen representation instead of its current status of exclusively corporate and wealth favoritism in the state, not to mention the nation as a whole.
All three will come together for the April 30 convention with those similar goals in hopes of being elected new party chair.
The declared candidates are:
Dick Harpootlian, former SCDP chair from 1998-2003, who announced interest to reclaim that office on March 31;
Phil Noble, president of the SC New Democrats, who only made his campaign official in February after announcing interest in late 2010
Two of those candidates – Jenkins and Noble – spoke at party functions in Dorchester County in March, while Harpootlian’s announcement was only recently made by email. And you can read about each of them and their campaign pledges in the links above.
The winner of the convention election will replace Carol Fowler, who’s served as party chair since 2007.
Fowler announced in July that she would not seek a third term.
SCDP will also elect a first, second and third vice-chair at the convention, which starts at 10 a.m. on April 30, and takes place at the Carolina Coliseum, 701 Assembly St in Columbia.