State Democratic Chair Trav Robertson rallied Horry County Democrats at the 2021 HCDP SHORE Dinner Friday, Oct. 22, encouraging them to work hard to elect a new governor, U.S. Senator, members of Congress, and down-ballot candidates.
“We’re here to fight!” declared Robertson at HCDP’s annual fundraising dinner held at the Dunes & Golf Club in Myrtle Beach. Unable to be held last year because of the COVID pandemic, this year’s event was called “the best ever” by Fundraising Chair Barbara Hake.
Robertson pointed out that despite the pandemic, an unusually high turnout by “motivated White evangelicals,” and the aftermath of the George Floyd murder by police, Democratic Jaime Harrison received more votes than any Democrat in the history of South Carolina in his bid to oust entrenched U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham.
“If we can do that under those circumstances, imagine what we can do now!” declared Robertson, pointing out that 55.5 percent of registered voters in the state are women. “Think about what happens if our candidates succinctly and effectively talk about those laws in Texas and South Carolina,” he added, noting restrictive and obtrusive laws infringing on women’s reproductive rights.
Two outstanding candidates attending the gala event were SC Rep. Krystle Matthews, running to defeat U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, and SC Sen. Mia McLeod, seeking the Democratic nod to challenge Gov. Henry McMaster.
“A lot of our elected officials have lost touch with the people of South Carolina,” said Matthews, a single mother of five, noting that Scott, rumored to be considering a presidential run, seems to be spending most of his time promoting himself outside of South Carolina. “We need women, and we need a leader who focuses on the interests of South Carolina. We need people at the table who can push for real solutions.”
McLeod, whose family operates one of South Carolina’s oldest African-American-owned funeral businesses, denied Republican claims that Democrats cannot be pro-business while also being “pro-people.”
“That’s a lie,” she said.
“I’m running for governor because South Carolina deserves a governor ready to lead and hit the ground running on day one,” McLeod told the crowd.
Besides hearing from candidates and party leaders, a silent auction proved highly popular – and successful – as attendees searched for, and found, a wide variety of true treasures that were donated by HCDP supporters, including many businesses.
HCDP Chair Alester Linton-Pryor expressed her appreciation to all who attended and supported the 2021 SHORE Dinner, including the team of volunteers, led by Hake, who helped plan the event.
“Barbara Hake and the committee pulled together a successful event working to make sure that everyone was safe because as Barbara emphasized, ‘We Care’,” said Linton-Pryor.
“Having Sen. McLeod and SC Rep. Krystle Matthews as guest speakers, along with state party chair Robertson, and a young, spoken-word poet, Yasmin Pugh, who excited the audience, was great,” she added. “The SHORE Dinner also gave fellow Democrats an opportunity to meet and interact with each other to talk about where to go from here.”
Linton-Pryor said HCDP will be developing more “Engage Horry” community events along and working with SCDP on “Register 46” to get all precincts in South Carolina active in registering and energizing Democratic voters. A new marketing campaign, unveiled at the dinner, #RISEUP!, will dovetail with those efforts “to empower every Democrat to meet the moment and make a difference,” she said.
The HCDP chair also urged every Horry County Democrat to join in the effort to identify and recruit qualified candidates to run for office. “To change, we must have candidates to run to be the change,” she declared.
To view a gallery of photos, please click here.
Bob Gatty is chair of the HCDP Communications Committee.