Democrats bring optimism to Columbia at convention



COLUMBIA — South Carolina Democrats came to their convention in Columbia this weekend optimistic they can stem a Republican tide that has taken over the state.

State Democratic Party Chairman Jamie Harrison said the party has put out solid candidates in all statewide races, topped by state Sen. Vincent Sheheen’s second run for the governor’s office.

Delegates chanted Sheheen’s name as he took the stage Saturday and promised to stop what he said has been a four-year long nightmare in the state during Republican Gov. Nikki Haley’s first term.

He brought up what appears to be his chief issues in this year’s race – the inability to stop the hacking of taxpayer data from the Department of Revenue, problems at the Department of Social Services and how the state lags behind in education.

Sheheen is trying to become the first Democrat to win a statewide race in eight years and the first to be in the governor’s office in 12 years. He faced Haley in 2008, losing by 4.5 percentage points.

Republicans in South Carolina currently are in the governor’s office, the other eight statewide constitutional offices, both U.S. Senate seats and six of South Carolina’s seven U.S. House seats.

Harrison said with all that power, Republicans haven’t done a good job helping regular people in South Carolina.

He told delegates and others at the convention to look at the poor conditions of the roads that brought them to Columbia to see that Republicans don’t care.

“They are big and bold and arrogant,” Harrison said.

The Republicans will hold their convention in Columbia next month.



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