Saturday, August 8, 2015

What Special Election???

I finally got a call on Thursday asking for my vote on September 1.  It's tough to think about this election because it is a reminder of the murder of state senator Clementa Pinckney.  But we owe it to Senator Pinckney, and ourselves, to get out and vote, and to vote for the best candidate.

The primary for State Senate District 45 is September 1, little more than three weeks away.  It appears that there are eleven democratic candidates running in the primary, according to Ballotpedia:

Chauncey Barnwell, whose Facebook page says that he is dedicated to "helping citizens create prosperity for themselves and their families."

William Bowman Jr. talks about "inclusion, ethical actions and transparency."  He spoke at Stop the Violence Day in Jasper County.

Sheree Darien says she is inspired to continue Senator Pinckney's work and would like to bring more funding to rural South Carolina.

Kent Fletcher ran for Senate seat 46 in 2008, and talked about fighting rampant development, and developing energy independence through renewable resources.  He was against the Wall Street bailout and would support more funding for education.  He was a Marine in Iraq.

Libbie Henry Green appears to have run for House 122 in 2008.  I was unable to find out anything about platform, positions or background.

Kenneth Hodges is SC House representative for District 121.  That means we have a voting record we can look at.  It indicates that Hodges has voted for improved sex education and against the hare-brained anti-abortion bills that have plagued our state legislature.  He has gotten high ratings by conservation groups and low ratings by Tea Party groups.

R. Keith Horton is a Ridgeland real estate broker.  I'll bet a better blogger than me could find more on him, but this is all I got.

Margie Bright Matthews is a Walterboro attorney who appears to have some support in the Democratic party.  I have inquired via her website as to her positions, and particularly on women's reproductive rights.  I'll let you know what I hear.

Richmond Truesdale, Jr. has little out there in the ether, other than he ran for this seat and lost resoundingly in 2008.

John Edward Washington is running in order to continue Senator Pinckney's legacy.  However, other than stating he will do what his constituents want, he does not specifically address any issues.  Senator Pinckney had a voting record and clear opinions on legislative issues.  I would hope that Washington would be more cognizant of those issues and Pinckney's positions.

Korey Williams.  I am so glad this is the last candidate, and I hope that it is not due to sheer exhaustion that I can't find anything on him.  Other than he is a defense, personal injury and family law attorney.  In my defense, that's all the P & C had on him as well.

I would welcome any additions and/or corrections to the above.  We need to have some discussion and debate about this election.

For me, issues of women's reproductive rights is key.  When I got the call from someone endorsing Kent Fletcher, I asked for his position on that issue.  When the woman I was talking to admitted she didn't know, I told her that I would base my vote on this issue.  I urged her to pass this message on to Mr. Fletcher.  Of course, those volunteers making calls rarely have the ear of the candidate, but if ever this were so, it would be now.

I also believe that anyone in South Carolina who will stand up for women's right to freedom and privacy in reproductive health care -- and yes, I did say "abortion rights" -- will stand up for pretty much all other democratic issues.  There is a reason why abortion has become a litmus test for candidates all the way up to the Supreme Court.

It is a shame that Charleston County Democratic Women is on summer hiatus.  But let's give this truly special election, and the candidates running for Senate seat 45 the attention it deserves. 

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