In conservative South Carolina, Lindsey Graham should have cruised to an easy reelection this year. Jaime Harrison had other plans.

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Lindsey Graham wasn’t supposed to be in trouble anymore.

For years, the longtime US Senator from South Carolina had been viewed suspiciously by many Republicans in the Palmetto State, despite his mostly conservative voting record. From his willingness to vote for liberal-leaning Supreme Court nominees like Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to his outspoken criticism of Donald Trump during the 2016 Republican presidential campaign, Graham had universal name recognition, but lacked the strong support of GOP activists compared to fellow South Carolinians like Sen. Tim Scott and former Sen. Jim DeMint.

Then, Brett Kavanaugh happened.

In September 2018, the federal judge went through a bruising Supreme Court confirmation battle after being accused of a decades-old sexual assault by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a California psychology professor. Graham, incensed by attacks on Kavanaugh during the hearings, lambasted Senate Democrats in a video that went viral. Overnight, Graham had finally become “one of the guys” to many conservatives, with President Trump praising him and reelection to a fourth term looking like a sure bet.

In May 2019, Jaime Harrison entered the Senate race.

Harrison had a compelling life story as a native son who was raised by his grandparents in Orangeburg and went on to graduate from Yale University and the Georgetown University Law Center. He later worked as an aide to House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and as a lobbyist in Washington before becoming the first Black chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party. As a political moderate, he supported Medicaid expansion and raising the minimum wage, while opposing the Green New Deal and an elimination of the Senate filibuster.

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Still, most pundits didn’t give Harrison a chance. When he formally announced his run against Graham, he leaned heavily on themes of integrity and loyalty, values that he felt would resonate with voters.

“Lindsey Graham can’t lead us in any direction because he traded his moral compass for petty political gain,” Harrison said in his first campaign ad. “He’s forgotten about the people that he represents…You.”

Over the past few months, Harrison’s campaign has taken off, pushing Graham into the biggest political fight of his life.

“All Politics are Local”

Late last year, Harrison released an ad where he narrated the story of an older Black man who lived off a dirt road in a rural county. The man told Harrison that until a politician could pave his road, he didn’t want to be bothered with an appeal for his vote.

This campaign is about bringing hope back to folks like this man. I’m ready to fight for him and working people across South Carolina, are you with me?💪🏿 pic.twitter.com/x5c6w8aJ02

— Jaime Harrison (@harrisonjaime) November 4, 2019

 

Harrison has campaigned on local concerns, seeking to revitalize communities across the state, preserve rural hospitals and expand access to educational opportunities. Lately, he has also been discussing ways to better handle the coronavirus pandemic that has left nearly 750,000 South Carolinians out of work.

He has drawn a sharp contrast with Graham, while increasing his own visibility …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Politics

      

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