Above Photo of Melissa Watson by Mark Gaier
By Bob Gatty
“This country is worth fighting for.”
Those were the words of Melissa Watson, Democratic challenger to U.S. Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC-7), at the Hon. John R. Lewis “Good Trouble” Drive Up and Virtual Stump on Saturday, September 26, in Conway.
Also speaking at the Conway event, held outside the Cherry Hill Missionary Baptist Church, were Rep. Terry Alexander of Florence, who represented U.S. Senate candidate Jaime Harrison; Dr. Bruce Fischer, candidate for SC House District 56, and Edward Robinson, candidate for the Horry County Board of Education, District 9.
Earlier in the morning, a similar event was held at the Greater True Light Ministries SOP in Myrtle Beach, and featured Watson and Tony Cahill, candidate for SC House District 107.
Decrying high poverty levels in South Carolina, Watson called for enactment of a state minimum wage sufficient to bring families out of poverty, improved education, a ban on offshore drilling, and urged voters to support Joe Biden in his challenge to President Trump and Harrison for the U.S. Senate, as well as all state and local candidates.
“We’re living in some perilous times,” she said. “It is about electing the person who is going to move us the farthest the fastest.” And that, she said, is Joe Biden for President and Sen. Kamala Harris for vice president.
Alexander, on behalf of Harrison, said “We need to send someone to Washington who’s concerned about healthcare in South Carolina, who’s concerned about the growth and development of public education, who’s concerned about climate change, who’s concerned about a living wage.”
Fischer, who outlined his service in the military during Vietnam, said now that he’s retired as a psychologist, he wants to serve again – this time in the state legislature to help improve conditions in South Carolina.
“This election is about beating back authoritarianism and racism,” he declared.
Robinson, a psychologist, said if elected to the Horry County School Board, he would make addressing mental health issues impacting students a top priority and work with the schools, community and parents to achieve that and make certain that adequate and effective counselling services are provided to students.
Speaking at the Myrtle Beach Stump event, Cahill, an educator, expressed concern that the impact of the coronavirus will continue to worsen and that public officials must act “to take the necessary steps to save our lives,” including mandatory shutdowns and wearing of masks.
Meanwhile, HCDP Chair Don Kohn stressed the importance of all voters participating in the coming election.
“We must have a record turnout in this election,” said Kohn, stressing that “this election is the most consequential election of our lifetime. As Joe Biden says, the soul of our nation and our democracy are at stake. This election is too important to let anybody sit by. Everyone must take action.”
He urged voters to vote and make certain that friends and family do the same, support Democratic candidates with time and donations, and support the Horry County Democratic Party – volunteer, help us out.”
“Get out there and do something,” urged Kohn. “We’ve got to get active.”