Politics & Government

S.C. Green Party candidate takes aim at DeMint

There's a third candidate in the South Carolina U.S. Senate race — nationally known environmental activist Tom Clements of Columbia — who, right now, is struggling to gain name recognition equal to that of Democrat Alvin Greene.

Clements has worked for Greenpeace International for 13 years. His world travel to challenge various leaders on nuclear issues has taken him to Russia, Japan, South Korea, and Europe.

Closer to home, Clements also led the environmental organization's nuclear watchdog efforts on operations at the nearby Savannah River Site.

The 59-year-old Clements is the South Carolina Green Party nominee, on the ballot with surprise Democratic Party nominee Greene in the race to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint in November.

Greene, 33, an unemployed Army veteran who lives with his father in Manning, has garnered unprecedented national and international media attention since he won the June 8 primary.

"But (media focus on the U.S. Senate race) hasn't been about the issues," complained Clements, who won the Green Party's nomination at its Columbia convention May 1 and expected to face DeMint and Democrat Vic Rawl. Rawl, a Charleston County councilman and former judge who was upset by Greene. "I want it to be about the issues.

"I want it to be about where is Jim DeMint, and why doesn't Jim DeMint come back to South Carolina to face the voters and discuss the issues," Clements said.

"I want to debate him and the amazing Mr. Greene, and we're going to be putting out a call for him to come home, because I think he is AWOL from South Carolina," Clements said.

Clements, who contends DeMint, 59, is spending his time "running around the country working for radical candidates," insists he also is hearing those sentiments expressed by Republicans around the state.

Clements, like most third party candidates, is so far off the radar he was not listed in recent polling about the race.

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