Democrats gather for biennial Galivants Ferry Stump

mprabhu@thesunnews.comMay 13, 2014 

Greg and Sandy Joye said they have traveled from Irmo to Galivants Ferry to hear the stump speeches from Democratic candidates for a number of years.

And while they said this year drew the smallest crowd in their recent memory, they said it was a great opportunity to hear the platforms of candidates who hope to represent them at the state and national level.

"It's a good opportunity for Democrats to get together as we go into the election," Greg Joye said.

Russell Holliday, whose family has organized the stump for nearly 140 years, said she thinks the low turnout may have had to do with there not being a presidential election this year.

"I also think people are tired of the negative ads that they're running against Vincent [Sheheen]," she said, referring to television commercials paid for by the Republican Governors Association that have targeted Sheheen.

Greg Joye said they volunteered with Sen. Vincent Sheheen's 2010 campaign against Gov. Nikki Haley and are excited to see how the election pans out this year.

"I think they're going to run on a true Democratic platform this time," he said. "They shied away from it last time."

Sheheen, of Camden, pushed his platform of expanding 4-year-old kindergarten, expanding Medicaid, and improving roads and bridges in the state -- and especially in Horry County.

"I would double funding for roads and bridges," he said referring to the state of infrastructure in Horry County. "The roads are congested, traffic is awful -- if I was in Horry County and said 'what has Nikki Haley done for me?' The answer is nothing."

About 15 Democratic candidates addressed about 100 people Monday at the stump speaking, including lieutenant governor candidate Rep. Bakari Sellers, of Bamberg, and Gloria Tinubu, who is running again for the 7th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Sheheen said this was the year for Democrats to change the status quo and "take the state back" from Republican governance. Republicans have won every statewide race since 2006 and are seated in six of the state's seven U.S. House seats.

The night also had some non-political excitement: as Rep. Vida Miller of Pawleys Island finished her stump remarks, former Georgetown County Sheriff Michael Carter got down on one knee and proposed.

"I said yes," Miller said into the microphone after Carter slipped a ring on her finger. "But not until after November."

Former U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings was scheduled to be honored 60 years after his first stump appearance, but was not well enough to make the trip from Charleston.

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