SC Green candidate David Kulma attends a meet-n-greet. Three Democratic candidates address Rock Hill Rising.
March 15th in Rock Hill South Carolina a group of citizens took their virtual community to the “real world” by hosting a gathering of three contenders for the Democratic Party nomination in SC Congressional District 5. The seat will be decided in a special election to be held June 20th. The opening was created when Mick Mulvaney resigned the seat to take a place in the Trump administration.
The event was sponsored by Rock Hill Rising at a local outlet of a small regional coffee house chain, Amelie’s Bakery. The three Democrats had been invited to address the group, one of dozens of Internet based activist groups across the state which sprung up in response to the Trump victory last November.
Three Democratic candidates, Les Murphy, Alexis Frank and Archie Parnell were invited to offer the group their views. David Kulma, The South Carolina Green Party nominee, attended after securing a ticket to the event. Kulma, a Winthrop University Adjunct Professor of Music for the past five years, will address Rock Hill Rising at their next regularly scheduled meeting at their invitation. Kulma listened, took notes, and spoke with organizers of the event.
Parnell, the best financed of the three, served twenty years as an executive at Goldman Sachs as well as a ten year stint as a tax attorney for Exxon Mobil.
“When I listened to Alexis Frank I thought she was fired up and ready to go.” Kulma said. “She wasn’t getting into many specifics but she was passionate and a good speaker.”
Les Murphy, a former Marine who discussed the difficulties of returning to civilian life after service also spoke.
But Parnell was the person of the moment in that room tonight.
“He seemed to project confidence. He had more applause and laugh lines. It was clear that he had spent a good deal of time being coached. He presented himself well.” said Kulma.
Liz Smith-Anderson of Rock Hill had submitted a question which was rejected by the sponsors. “I just wanted to know if the candidates think this is a Christian nation, why or why not. A big part of the Trump agenda is driven by fanatical people who don’t understand our nation’s history.” she said.
The Kulma campaign was launched only a week and a half ago, but the campaign is said to be building steam already. In most Democratic and Republican congressional races $2500 checks are common. But this “people powered” campaign has just broken past it’s first $1000 fundraising barrier.
“We don’t take PAC money, we don’t take corporate money, so we must ask for worker’s money, as painful as that is.” Kulma concluded.
A total of 15 candidates from of South Carolina’s ballot qualified parties have filed. Seven Republicans, three Democrats, an equal number of Libertarians, and a single candidate each have filed for the Green and American Party nominations. One of the Libertarians has also filed to seek the Constitution Party nod.