Jaime Harrison’s Historic Senate Race For A New South Carolina

U.S. Senate Candidate Jaimie Harrison

U.S. Senate Candidate Jaimie Harrison

Dylan K. Little, Editor-In-Chief

Democratic challenger Jamie Harrison is running for senate in South Carolina in the hope of unseating the incumbent, Republican Lindsey Graham. Shockingly, no Democrat has won a statewide election in South Carolina since 2006 and Lindsey Graham has held this Senate seat since 2003! Still, through intense grassroots organization, fundraising and a progressive platform that benefits all South Carolinians, Harrison has been able to match, or in some instances, surpass Lindsey Graham in terms of fundraising and in the polls.

As a child, Harrison recounts how he was raised by his grandparents in Orangeburg, South Carolina, and how he would often have to help his grandparents read their bills. Even from a young age, Harrison knew that his family often could not afford to pay those bills. This hardship during his childhood would lead to Harrison having empathy and a critical understanding of many other working class families as he grew older. As a young adult, Harrison was able to earn a scholarship to Yale University and he would go on to attend Georgetown Law School. Harrison would return to Orangeburg where he would teach at his old high school. There, Harrison inspired students to attend college. In 2013, Jaime was elected as the first African American Chairperson of the South Carolina Democratic Party and he held this position until 2017.

That South Carolina is currently an actively contested state should be cause for alarm for Lindsey Graham and other Republicans about the state of their Senatorial majority. South Carolina is a state that has almost never had a Democrat, and certainly not one who holds the Democratic values and progressive ideals that characterize the Democratic Party of today. Graham was preceded by the infamous Dixiecrat, Strom Thurmond, a Democratic Senator purely in name only, who was successful in running on the racist dog whistles of state’s rights and racial segregation. This is the same Strom Thurmond who delivered a 24 hour and 18-minute filibuster, the longest filibuster in our country’s history, against the Civil Rights Act of 1957. Suffice it to say, South Carolina’s red-state stronghold has run extremely deep until, perhaps, this election cycle.

A Democratic victory in South Carolina would be wonderful news for the Democratic Party, as they only need to flip 4 to 5 seats in the Senate to tip the balance of power away from the Republicans. Additionally, current Senate Republicans have rapidly pushed the Supreme Court appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to ensure that they have a Republican majority on the Supreme Court.  This is a concerning reality, because Barrett has stated previously that she does not believe judges need to follow prior legal precedent. She is also a staunch conservative who would likely be a key vote on the Republicans side and will likely side to repeal legislation in place that protects our basic freedoms such as: anti-discrimination laws, abortion rights and contraceptives, LGBTQIA+ rights, policing reform, voting rights and students’ educational rights. Lindsey Graham also currently serves on the Judiciary Committee Chairman, further highlighting the true importance of this upcoming Senate race and why Jamie Harrison must defeat him.

Harrison is currently at a statistical tie with Lindsey Graham, and has been able galvanize enough people to handily out-fund raise Graham. Graham himself mentioned that he “is in the fight of his political life” with Democratic challenger Jamie Harrison, and if he succeeds, it would be a historic victory, not only for Harrison and the Democratic Party; but also the people of South Carolina who will benefit from bold and progressive change from their states past.