GA and SC Special Elections

CHARLOTTE, NC –Republicans now hold all four congressional seats up for grabs in this Spring’s special elections.

Republican Karen Handel won Georgia’s 6th congressional district in Tuesday’s special election. The House race between Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff was the most expensive in history with a combined $50 million. Ossoff hoped to flip the long-held Republican congressional seat left vacant when Tom Price became Health and Human Services Secretary.  However, the victory margin was smaller than Republicans have maintained in the district in years past. This special election gained national attention because it was largely seen whether President Trump’s low approval ratings will impact the 2018 mid-term elections.

In South Carolina, Republican billionaire developer, Ralph Norman, won the 5th congressional district. Norman beat Democrat billionaire, and former Goldman Sachs tax adviser, Archie Parnell. The seat was previously held by Mick Mulvaney, who now serves in the Trump cabinet.

WCCB Political Contributor, Mary C. Curtis weighs in.

Tim Scott treads – carefully – through South Carolina and D.C. political thicket

Tim Scott, the junior senator from South Carolina, is a reliably conservative vote, most recently his “no” on Wednesday’s bipartisan budget agreement. But while the Republican’s record mirrors that of other tea party-backed members of Congress, his rhetoric is noticeably cooler.

That much was clear during his recent conversation with members of the Trotter Group, a national association of African-American columnists, who spent a few days in Washington meeting with policymakers from various parties and persuasions.

The weird racial politics of South Carolina

South Carolina, the cradle of the Confederacy, is represented by African-American Sen. Tim Scott, and has an Indian-American governor, Nikki Haley – both conservative Republicans. Yet any idea that the state is progressing on the racial conflicts that have defined much of its history took another hit on Sunday. That’s when the Haley for Governor Grassroots Advisory Committee, her grass-roots political organization, asked for and received the resignation of one of its 164 co-chairs after his statements on racial purity came to light.

Civil-rights groups and Democrats had been pressuring the Haley campaign, which initially stood by Roan Garcia-Quintana, a member of the Council of Conservative Citizens. But his defense of his beliefs didn’t work out so smoothly. In an interview last week with The State explaining his position on the board of directors of the council, Garcia-Quintana denied that he and the group are racist. The council “supports Caucasian heritage,” he said. “Is it racist to be proud of your own heritage?” he asked. “Is it racist to want to keep your own heritage pure?”

More Mark Sanford drama? Like you’re surprised

Just when his apology tour was going so well, South Carolina’s Mark Sanford is in the headlines again — and not for his conservative fiscal policies. His ex-wife Jenny Sanford has filed a trespassing complaint saying that in violation of their divorce settlement, she caught him leaving her home in February, using his cell phone as a flashlight.

Jenny Sanford has confirmed that court documents obtained by The Associated Press were authentic, but didn’t give any more details. She told The State newspaper on Tuesday, “We have had a number of matters [in the divorce], and we have to deal with them in private.” Well, except that her husband is running a very public U.S. Congressional race. “The race is not a concern,” Jenny Sanford said. “I am focused on raising my children.”

This can’t be the news South Carolina Republicans wanted to see weeks before a May 7 special election Sanford has a great chance of winning.

Strom Thurmond’s black daughter: a symbol of America’s complicated racial history

Thurmond’s daughter was for years kept on the outside looking in, a pattern that mirrors the lives of African Americans, integral to the life blood of the country’s progress and promise, yet not always invited to sit at the family table.

For Southern Democrats, all politics are local

Southern Democrats in Washington for the inauguration of President Obama on Monday celebrated as much as their counterpoints from across the country. But they also knew they had work to do, with GOP senators, governors and state legislatures cutting a bright red swath through the region. So they used an Inauguration Day gathering to launch South Forward, a program aimed at making gains for the Democratic Party by supporting local candidates.

Tim Scott’s importance as GOP senator and symbol

Yes, the giddiness is almost embarrassing as Republicans congratulate themselves on making history with Congressman Tim Scott tapped to join the U.S. Senate – the only African American in the exclusive club of 100. And no, it’s hardly a quick fix for the party’s troubles attracting minority voters since Scott’s conservative political beliefs will hardly trigger a stampede to the GOP. But Democrats should not discount the man or his symbolism.

Scott’s conservative views and his raised by a hard-working single mom background strike a chord with Americans of every race. His humble thanks to “my lord and savior Jesus Christ” at the Monday announcement of the historic news didn’t hurt, especially in his Southern home. Democrats did nominate an African-American senator who is set to start his second term in the White House, a feat the GOP is far from matching. But in the 113th Congress, Scott will be the only black senator, and he will have an “R” after his name.

Sanford vs. Sanford? Dream on, political (and drama) junkies

Pop some popcorn and take a front-row seat. The South Carolina electoral scene, endlessly mesmerizing in a train-wreck sort of way, could feature a Sanford vs. Sanford contest. Though it’s unlikely, that imaginary race tops the holiday wish list for anyone who likes politics with a heavy dose of soap opera.

Former governor Mark Sanford is seriously considering a run for the U.S. House seat now held by Tim Scott, a former top aide first told CNN late Thursday. On Monday, Scott was chosen by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to fill the Senate seat of Jim DeMint, who is departing to run the conservative Heritage Foundation. Mark Sanford’s ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, was on the short list to take DeMint’s place. Many observers, though, thought being nominated was honor enough for Haley’s long-time ally, especially helpful if she expressed interest in running to replace Scott. He is set to be sworn into the Senate in early January.

All the players in this particular game of political musical chairs are Republicans, this being South Carolina, a virtual one-party red state. Though all share conservative positions, each lugs very distinctive baggage.

Is Jenny the South Carolina Sanford with a political future?

A little more than three years ago, Mark Sanford – the photogenic South Carolina conservative governor with the picture perfect family – was the future of the Republican Party, mentioned as a presidential contender.

In the summer of 2009, a detour to Argentina that revealed an extramarital affair made the wrong kind of headlines. And though Sanford is now respectably engaged to his then-girlfriend and told The Wall Street Journal he hasn’t said no to a political comeback, the focus is on another Sanford. Ex-wife Jenny Sanford is reportedly on South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s short list to fill out the U.S. Senate term of Jim DeMint, who is departing to head the conservative Heritage Foundation. It’s a reminder that Jenny Sanford has been and continues to be a political player.