The Candidates Prepare for Today's Debate in Hartsville With a Meet and Greet in Darlington. Too Bad They Won't All Get to Participate.
After taking a whole day off from the campaign Sunday to blog about everything, we were back on the road last night at The Music Hall on Harry Byrd Highway in Darlington - just down the road from the Raceway - to attend the Darlington GOP's Candidate Meet and Greet. We learned a valuable lesson last night: give a candidate five minutes to talk, and it's over quickly, but pretty dull. Let them just mingle around and talk about whatever, and you can be there for hours talking about anything!
Though there weren't too many unfamiliar faces, we ran into a few new friends of SC6 that we never met, and some local candidates in tough districts that could use a little help. As far as the 7th District candidates, they were very well represented, with only Tom Rice and Dick Withington not being there in person or with a staffer.. We're not sure why Rice wasn't there, but word was Withington was back in Myrtle Beach addressing wounds received in an altercation with an elderly lady over a disputed parking space... kidding!!
Though Darlington itself is a tough area for Republicans overall, the seem to have carved out some even local districts to give them a fair representation in County Council - better than we have in Florence. Though the party doesn't officially meet as often as others do, they are substituting it with events like this instead. Let's take a look at the action from last night....
Katherine Jenerette spends a lot of quality time with a local voter. Seriously, she talked with this man for at least a half hour, and we're still jealous! Katherine is a big fan of SC6, and she gave me some info that was confirmed by others that we underestimated. In a recent poll, she is actually within striking distance of the runoff. How? Simple... With this race glutted with male politicians with business experience, Jenerette is the only serious candidate with a military background - especially a current one. Combine that with he name recognition from previous races in the area, and being one of only two females in the race, and Jenerette may have that thing that every candidate needs - a solid voting block. Going to VFW halls worked for John McCain in 2008, and it might work here as well. June 12th will let us know, but we can't argue with the one who nicknamed me 'The Bad Boy Blogger from Florence' - especially when she's a badass with automatic weapons!
Randal Wallace talks shop with Tom Grimes and Darlington's Matthew Blewitt... Matthew could be a future Horseman in Waiting, but he's good guy - we may not want to corrupt him!
Chad Prosser was on hand, fielding questions from a local voter as well... I know what some are going to say, so just be nice for once!
Jay Jordan chit-chat's with fellow candidate Jim Mader and his wife, Marjorie. Next time you see Jay, ask him about Championship Wrestling... He IS from Florence!
Lastly, Tom poses with Andre Bauer's elephant. Is that Robert McCready under there?? Hey Tom, the elephant is supposed to be for the KIDS!!!
Speaking of kids, Renee and Tony Culler were there, as well as their four daughters. I got my usual fist pounds and hugs from the little ones, and I gave Serah Culler some advice on flyer handouts - if they don't want them, Scotch Tape it and stick on their back like a 'Kick Me' sign! It makes one feel good to pass on your knowledge to the next generation...
If you can't tell by now, it was a very informal night, but it gets more serious in Hartsville (or Hartsvegas, as the locals say) with tonight's debate. The very odd part about this debate is it's a bipartisan debate, with nine total candidates from the two parties - five Republican and four Democrat. So obviously, three of the candidates you see - Culler, Mader and Jenerette - will not there, along with Withington. We're not sure who is exactly promoting this debate, but they simply went with polling data from who knows where, or someone's opinion, and chose the five. Sounds like they're jumping the gun a bit, and really should have had one debate for each party. Yeah, it might be more interesting to see the sparks fly among candidates who are diametrically opposed, but every candidate deserves a shot...