By Kate Franch
Without a doubt, the 2020 election cycle is already upon us. Not only are the presidential candidates in full campaign mode, but, as the weeks progress, prospective Democratic candidates for seats up and down the ballot are also expressing their intention to run. Even more are in the process still of exploring options and viability. It is an exhilarating and hopeful time for voters hungry for choice at the ballot box and change in our legislative halls.
On behalf of all of us, I thank everyone considering or actively seeking elected office! Our democracy survives and thrives only if citizens from all walks of life and experiences present themselves for representative public service.
The months leading into campaign season always create a tricky situation for the GCDP, however, because we do not know how many people will ultimately file for an office. We want to support candidates and prospective candidates as fully as we can in all aspects of campaigning – promotion, fundraising, recruiting volunteers, connecting with voters, etc. – from the moment they announce their candidacy. For one thing, you (voters and potential supporters) deserve to be kept abreast of every development and to have the chance to thoroughly evaluate your electoral options.
We also strive to be fair and equal in that support, which is very important when a primary election will take place. The Party does not endorse one primary candidate over another. In addition, every candidate should feel like he/she has comparable opportunity from the Party’s perspective of attracting voters and earning the nomination. In some situations, we know fairly early in the cycle that there will be a primary; in others, we do not know until the completion of the filing period (at the end of March for the majority of November general election seats) when intention is legally affirmed.
Even when we do know, candidates can be quite different in terms of when they decide to formally announce, social media and/or press presence, getting their campaign staff up and running, GOTV (get out the vote) activity . . . Incumbents can have a built-in advantage given their “insider” status already. So, the GCDP works to make judicious decisions about our coverage of each candidate (for instance, how often we post or repost any one candidate on social media) with the full campaign cycle in mind. We are ever mindful of the overall balance, and, believe me, it is a fine line to walk.
I share this because some of you have conveyed frustration that the Party isn’t promoting some Democrats who have announced their intention to run as often as you think we should. Please know that we are giving considerable thought each day to what is equitable and fair today as well as over the course of the election cycle. You should challenge us to provide the best service, thank you. We hope you will do so with an understanding of the parameters under which we work. The GCDP is committed, along with you, to electing Democrats at each and every turn.
Now, a complete change of pace . . . I also want to let you know about an exciting opportunity available to 11th and 12th graders exploring college options. The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and the South Carolina State Mechanism of the National Council of Negro Women, Incorporated (Greenville has a new chapter!) are co-sponsoring the national “2019 Hungry for Education HBCU (historically black college and university) Tour.” See the flyer below. First stops on the Tour are Claflin University and South Carolina State University on September 7. NCNW will host up to 500 high school juniors and seniors for a day of serious college recruitment, financial aid information, the campuses, and an SCSU football game. The activities, lunch, and game will be provided free of charge to Tour students, their guardians, and chaperones. SCSU and Claflin will accept applications for admission and financial aid onsite. Students who come with a completed FAFSA can be admitted and awarded financial aid that day. To register, click here http://ncnw.org/ncnw/hbcu-tours.
Chartered bus transportation to the Claflin/SCSU Tour from Greenville and back is available free of charge. The bus that will leave Greenville at 6 am on September 7 has a seating capacity of 55. If interested, please contact Davida Mathis, 864-232-0809, for more information.
Please share this fabulous opportunity with anyone you think might be interested.
Until next month . . . or the next event, in solidarity,