By Don Kohn, HCDP Chair
On Tuesday, Horry County voters will participate in the 2018 midterm election, which could well be one of the most important elections of our times. They will have an opportunity to use their constitutionally guaranteed power – at the ballot box.
At stake are the U.S. House of Representatives seat in District 7, South Carolina Governor, S.C. Secretary of State, State Treasurer, House District 106, and State Attorney General . In addition, we have great Democratic candidates running for local offices in the Horry County Government.
There are currently eight incumbent Republicans holding positions in federal, state, and local offices in Horry County with solid Democratic candidates challenging them. It is time to end one party rule in our county, to vote the Republican incumbents out and elect men and women who will work in the best interest of all of us.
What’s at Stake
This year the stakes are higher than ever because of the harmful and divisive actions of President Trump, which have been supported by Republicans in Congress. It is essential that the U.S. Congress is no longer controlled by Trump and his henchmen and that this president no longer has free reign to dismantle everything from protections for equal rights, the environment to healthcare.
In every midterm election since the Civil War, the party of the sitting President has lost an average of 32 seats in the House and two in the Senate. Currently, Democrats hold 194 of 435 seats, short of the 218 required to regain majority control.
Democrats nationwide need to flip at least 24 seats in the House, and just two to take control of the Senate. It is a formidable challenge as Democrats will need to win the popular vote by an especially wide margin to overcome the considerable disadvantage caused by GOP gerrymandering, a byproduct of the state-level losses endured in 2010 before the last round of redistricting.
So HCDP urges voters to support State Rep. Robert Williams, the Democratic challenger to Rep. Tom Rice, who is little more than an echo chamber for Donald Trump. Williams is a veteran and is committed to equality, bringing good paying jobs to South Carolina, improving housing for those in need, and strengthening education for every child, regardless of zip code.
Our state government has been controlled by the Republican party for years and Gov. Henry McMaster has essentially carried forward the policies of President Trump. He is a relic, representative of times gone by when the “good ole boys” ran everything, mostly for their own benefit.
This can be seen especially vividly in McMaster’s refusal to fund the expansion of Medicaid provided under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which Republicans continue to attack. Medicaid expansion will be approved immediately by our new Governor, James Smith, but he must first be elected on Nov. 6. So please vote for him.
Remember, the Republican attack on the ACA, if successful, would mean an end to guaranteed insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions. No matter what they are saying in their campaign ads, sending Republicans back to Washington would mean an end to that coverage. They have even filed suit in court to achieve that goal.
Smith and his lieutenant governor running mate, Mindy Powers Norell, will bring fresh vision and dedication to Columbia. They are committed to improving healthcare and education; to protecting our environment; to protecting the rights of every citizen, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual identity or whatever.
It’s Up to You Now
So when you go to the polls on Tuesday, vote to protect equal rights, affordable healthcare, our environment, our economy, and our children’s futures. Vote to uphold the values of equal opportunity and fairness for all.
It is up to all of us to decide which vision of America will prevail – the Republican vision that is based on fear and lies that come directly from President Trump, or the positive vision of fairness, equality and progress espoused by Democrats.
We must be united to succeed. The stakes could not be higher!
Remember this: You have the power to make things better. Use it!