SC makes history with party leadership elections

By Kurt Herwald

This weekend, the SCDP elected Christale Spain, the first Black woman to chair the state party.

Her primary opponent, Brandon Upson, conceded the race when it became apparent Christale held a majority of the delegates.

Brandon made a gracious and unifying concession speech, pledging support for Christale and encouraging the party to move forward together. Christale had the backing of many of the state’s leading Democrats, including Rep. Jim Clyburn, who nominated her, outgoing chair Trav Robertson, Democratic National Committee Chair Jamie Harrison, former chair and National Committeewoman Carol Fowler and former governor Jim Hodges.

Christale’s lengthy biography includes leading a national organizing program for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), contributing to winning 12 of 13 U.S. House races in 2022, including three in North Carolina.

Three other leaders were also elected. Colleen Condon as 1st vice chair, the first non-binary vice chair; Mayra Rivera-Vazquez, the first Hispanic vice chair, as 2nd vice chair; and Michelle Brandt as 3rd vice chair. Each will serve a two-year term.

Unity was the dominant theme at the convention, as was moving forward to the first-in-the-nation presidential primary to be held next year in South Carolina.

At a party-sponsored dinner, attended by hundreds of delegates, on Friday, Rep. Clyburn gave a rousing speech in support of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, highlighting the numerous accomplishments of the administration including the Infrastructure Bill, the American Rescue Plan, the decisive handling of the COVID pandemic, a bipartisan infrastructure bill, and gun safety legislation. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper also spoke at the dinner, highlighting recent Democratic successes in his state and drawing sharp analogies with what South Carolina faces. It was a highly motivating speech and energized the crowd.

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