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Primaries are Less than a Month Away, Do You Know the District One Congressional Candidates?

Primaries for Competitive Midterm Elections Are Around the Corner, Know Your Candidates

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Primaries are Less than a Month Away, Do You Know the District One Congressional Candidates?

Mother and Daughter Voting

Mother and Daughter Voting

Mother and Daughter Voting

Mother and Daughter Voting

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As you may have heard on the news or seen in a dramatic video montage, the 2018 midterms are coming and SC has just been placed on The Cook Political Report as a competitive race. Before November, however, there are open primaries for both parties which will be held on June 12th where you are not required to be a member of the party to vote in their election. While oftentimes the results of a primary are not difficult to predict, the voter turnout holds great importance in terms of candidate’s fundraising and can enhance general election predictions. Below are a list of the candidates running in the primary along with a brief biography.

 

The Republican Primary:

Mark Sanford (incumbent): Representing the SC’s first congressional district from 1995-2001 and since 2013, Mark Sanford defines himself as strictly conservative about fiscal policy. Supporting tax cuts, budget cuts, federal funding for natural disaster relief and transportation, Sanford was awarded most financially conservative by Citizens Against Government Waste and the National Taxpayers Union. As Governor, Sanford also declined to accept federal stimulus funding for South Carolina. In terms of his voting record on social policy, Sanford has voted to defund Planned Parenthood, strongly opposes a woman’s right to choose, sought to define marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman in 1996, and voted against prohibiting the use of federal funds for discrimination based off of sexual orientation in 2016. Historically a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and against gun reform, Sanford has recently made statements about endorsing an increased time period for background checks although he remains in support of the ownership of assault weapons and is endorsed by the NRA.

Katie Arrington: Serving in South Carolina’s House of Representatives for District 94, Katie Arrington seeks to promote balanced spending, the 2nd Amendment, restrictions on abortion and contraceptives, and improving transportation. In terms of policy, it appears that one of Arrington’s clearest differences from Sanford is that she supports funding for transportation as it ultimately saves money in the long-run. Criticizing Sanford as more concerned with national attention than representing South Carolina, Arrington has centered her campaign around preserving “South Carolina Conservative Values,” and pledged to take no more than the average salary of District One (donating the rest to charity).

Dimitri Cherney: A Democrat running as a Republican, Cherney seeks to split the vote in the Republican primary and ensure a Democrat represents District One. His reasoning lies in the 36.6% of the vote he gathered running as a Democrat in the 2016 general congressional election, which he hopes will partially turnout for him in this Republican Primary.

 

The Democratic Primary:

Joe Cunningham: Formerly an ocean engineer and construction lawyer, Joe is running to unseat Mark Sanford and put a progressive willing to compromise in office. Receiving an endorsement from End Citizens United, Joe has pledged to take no PAC money and is funded by individual contributions. In addition to more equal financial power, he supports automatic voter registration so that minorities are not excluded from the voting booth. Being an ocean engineer, Joe believes in climate change and understands it’s threat to both the lowcountry, and the nation as a whole. Socially, Joe respects a woman’s right to choose, seeks to expand and improve healthcare, and is firmly against discrimination based off of sexual orientation. In terms of education, Joe believes that the federal government should provide

supplemental funds for teacher salaries in states that are working to increase recruitment, training and retention of teachers”

— Joe Cunningham

  He also supports reforming the prison system to focus more around rehabilitation, when applicable, and ending the school to prison pipeline. Similar to the New Deal approach to economics and infrastructure, Joe wants to create jobs through infrastructure projects such as expanding 526. Unlike Sanford, Joe supports a ban on the public sale of assault weapons and would promote common sense gun reform if elected.

Toby Smith: With a background in education, Toby Smith seeks to improve the school system so that all children have access to an equal and quality education. She also strongly supports a woman’s right to choose, access to healthcare, equal pay, and an end to domestic violence. While supporting comprehensive background checks and gun reform, she stands with Sandy Hook to not ban any weapons outright. In terms of immigration, Toby wants to support DREAMers and provide pathways to citizenship. Her platform also includes an emphasis on social and racial justice, including prejudice in criminal justice, affordable housing, and entrepreneurial opportunities.

 

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