Small, Intimate Setting at Meet the Candidate Event

Dozens braved the rain, stormy weather to hear cheer their favorite candidate.

Several dozen people gathered at the covered seats at the Greenville Drive stadium Friday night.

The threat of rain and the ominous black cloud hanging above the outfield walls might have kept some people away, but not those who truly wanted to hear what a particular candidate had to say.

If there had been a ballgame that night, the tarps would have covered the field. But this event wouldn't be called for rain.

The podium atop the dugout was abandoned as the rains came in and the candidates joined the public under the awnings to make their pitch.

While the candidates were hard to hear at times, due more so to the people enjoying themselves with friends or family members, each one had a message for voters, "Remember to vote on June 12."

The event, sponsored by Cox Media Group and advertised locally on its radio stations, Hot 98.1, Chuck 97.7, and 107.3 JAMZ, gave voters the opportunity to meet candidates, to register to vote and to find out how they can get involved in this year's election.

The Greenville County Election Commission brought out voting machines and allowed those curious to cast a vote for their favorite tea.

But it was the candidates, that fired the crowd up. Running for public offices from county council to seats in the U.S. Congress, the candidates spoke of their drive and their passion during the two-hour event.

Chandra Dillard, who is running as the incumbent for House District 23, got cheers from the crowd when she jumped up on top of the roof of the dugout.

Dillard said she ran for the House the first time because, "People wanted someone who would answer the phone."

Dillard touted her record in the House and reminded people of her service to Greenville City Council. Dillard said she would continue to fight to increase funding for education, encourage businesses to locate in the area and to help homeowners find additional revenue sources.

The rain started just as her opposition in the race D.C. Swinton began to speak. He presented his plans for saving money in the state to include eliminating school districts, bringing more jobs into the district and creating a better recycling program.

Voters saw a glimpse of the fire and passion of candidates running for Senate District 7. Candidates Karl Allen, Ennis Fant and Lillian Brock-Flemming talked about their varied experiences, their passion for people and their hope for District 7.

Sen. David Thomas, the incumbent for Senate District 8, had a short, friendly conversational approach.

"Again, I'm David Thomas, I'm in the phone book and I'm usually home after 8 p.m."

Thomas, who has served District 8 since 1985, also reminded people to vote on June 12 and thanked people for coming out in the rain.

Brian Doyle, a candidate for Congressional District 3, a syndicated radio show host, took jabs at his competitor Rep. Jeff Duncan. Doyle talked about how Duncan wanted to privatize education and the need to "stop him."

Congressional District 4 candidates Deb Morrow and Jimmy Tobias, also took aim at Rep. Trey Gowdy.

Both consider themselves to be the common person trying to building a better way of life for citizens in South Carolina.

"I'm just a regular down-to-earth person trying to be a public servant," Morrow said.

Tobias repeatedly told the crowd, "my representative hasn't done anything."

He also spoke out about legalizing marijuana.

"We've got to stop locking our children up," Tobias said.

Tobias also asked people people to go to his website and to read his blog, "Pawn Shop Preacher."


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