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Third-Party candidates gather for forum

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On Sept. 29, 2014, Columbia College’s writing for print and digital media program hosted a forum for S.C. third-party candidates running for state and federal offices this November.

Candidates from the South Carolina Green Party, the Libertarian Party, the Labor Party, the United Citizens Party and the American Party addressed approximately 145 students and community members.

Jill Bossi, member of the American Party and candidate for the U.S. Senate, was the first speaker. “I decided to get into this race because I felt that the Democrats and the Republicans were not addressing the issues that I felt were important,” said Bossi, who has more than 30 years of business experience.

Bossi centered her speech on the topic of student debt and encouraged young Americans to exercise their right to vote.

David Edmonds, candidate for commissioner of agriculture and member of the United Citizens Party, described his early life working in the peanut fields and serving in the United States Army as a food inspector.

“One [of the ideas] is to increase the number of opportunities in places like Allendale, S.C. where I pastor a church, there is 19 percent unemployment, but if David Edmonds is the next commissioner of agriculture that would go down from 19 percent to at least 12 percent,” Edmonds said.

Sue Edwards, South Carolina Green Party co-chair and candidate for The House of Representatives House 114 which covers the West Ashley area of Charleston and parts of lower Dorchester County, explained that she was not afraid to talk about controversial topics like other politicians.

“It’s estimated that 1,500 people are going to die this year for lack of Medicare coverage. I think that’s criminal,” Edwards said. She is in favor of Medicaid expansion, wants to repeal any laws restricting women’s access to birth control including abortion and supports raising the minimum wage to $15/hr.

Harold Geddings, candidate for South Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District and member of the Labor Party, described his fellow panelists as “the hipsters of American politics” because of their diversity.

“I really don’t care about party labels, personally. I’m just an ordinary working class guy who is sick and tired of politic confusion. If elected, I vow to serve not the corporate interest that’s owned in Washington, but the working class folks right here at home,” Geddings said.

Victor Kocher, chairman of the Libertarian Party and candidate for the U.S. Senate, said his biggest concern was the national debt.

“We have to get career politicians out of office. Out of 124 State House members, 71 got their positions because no one ran against them in their primary, and no one is running against them in the election,” Kocher said.

Donna McGreevy, member of the American Party and candidate for S.C. House Seat 74, pointed out ways she would serve differently from her opponent, Todd Rutherford. McGreevy would dispute legislation for drinking under the influence and support ethics reform.

Curtis McLaughlin, member of the Libertarian Party and candidate for U.S. House District 4, said, “I’m very anti-war, very anti-war. War’s expensive; war is a loss of lives.”

Morgan Bruce Reeves, member of the Untied Citizens Party and candidate for governor of South Carolina, was the next speaker and discussed his approval of legalizing marijuana and how the state’s budget is affecting economic development.

Only one of the third-party candidates invited did not show up, Travis McCurry, running for S.C. House Seat District 26.

A panel, moderated by Claudia Brinson, Columbia College professor, took place. This panel consisted of Edwards, Jim Rex, chairman and co-founder of the American Party; Brett Bursey, director of the S.C. Progressive Network; Marjorie Hammock, co-chair of the S.C. Progressive Network; and Victor Kocher, chairman of S.C. Libertarian Party.

 

 

 

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Megan Robinson, co-editor

Megan Robinson is a senior writing for print and digital media major and public relations at Columbia College. She considers herself a foodie who loves...

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Third-Party candidates gather for forum