South Carolina Democrats take aim at Sanford in 2010

The State (Columbia, S.C.)June 8, 2009 

One year from now, S.C. Democrats will hold a referendum on Gov. Mark Sanford and lay the sluggish economy and high unemployment rate at his feet, as a field of largely unknown candidates compete for a chance to replace him.

Democrats hope a statewide grassroots network, set up by President Barack Obama, will get the anti-Sanford message out and help deliver voters to the Democratic primary.

Overall, the state's blue party says it's feeling upbeat about its chances in next year's election &mash; in no small part because of the term-limited governor.

"This state can't take another eight years of someone like (Sanford)," said Dick Harpootlian, former state Democratic Party chairman and a Columbia attorney who successfully sued to make Sanford accept $700 million in federal stimulus funds.

But unless other gubernatorial candidates step into the ring soon, the Democratic charge will be led by an underdog.

The candidates so far — Amos Elliott, a West Ashley pastor; Sen. Robert Ford, a Charleston developer; Mullins McLeod, a Charleston attorney; and Sen. Vincent Sheheen, a Camden attorney — will travel the state to garner name recognition.

Also mulling a run are Rep. Harry Ott, D-Calhoun, the House minority leader, and state Superintendent of Education Jim Rex.

With the exception of Rex, all lack statewide name recognition.

To read the complete article, visit

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service