HARTSVILLE, S.C. — Jaime Harrison brought his messages of restoring hope and working to improve the lives of South Carolina residents to Hartsville on Thursday afternoon.
Harrison, the leading Democratic candidate opposing Sen. Lindsey Graham in his reelection bid, spoke at Sam Kendall’s.
He shared two stories to illustrate the two messages of his campaign.
The first, as he shared during a campaign stop in Dillon in December 2019, was about meeting a woman working in the United States Capitol building who knew his mother.
One night, Harrison was working late in his office when he noticed a cleaning woman standing outside his door.
He asked the woman if she needed to come and clean.
She said yes and began to tidy up his office. While doing so, she kept looking at a picture of Harrison’s mother on the wall.
After paying several compliments about his office, the woman asked him if he was from South Carolina. Yes, Harrison answered.
Then, she asked if he was from Orangeburg. Again, he answered yes.
The woman then told him she knew his mother and remembered when she left school to give birth to him.
Both of them cried about their reunion inside the Capitol building.
Then, the woman told Harrison that he restored her hope in America as she never thought his mother’s son would end up with an office in the Capitol building.
The second story involves a school-supplies drive the Harrison campaign held.
He started the story by saying that he wanted to make sure that he’s improving the lives of South Carolina residents.
Then he offered a criticism of Graham, saying that Graham hadn’t visited an area of the state where a local hospital has closed, instead focusing on TV appearances and golfing with the president.
As part of the desire to improve the lives of South Carolina residents, Harrison decided to hold a school-supplies drive after remembering one summer when his mother got laid off and didn’t have any money to buy school supplies for him before the year started.
Harrison said he remembered all the kids asking about his old shoes and supplies.
He added that he remembered going to the restroom and crying about the other kids’ treatment.
Thus, he resolved to hold a school-supplies drive.
The team gave out over 400 backpacks at that drive, including one to a mother who told Harrison that his efforts had restored her hope, too.
Harrison and two staffers ate lunch at Yogi Bear’s Honey Fried Chicken before arriving at Sam Kendall’s on Thursday afternoon.
Harrison attended and graduated from Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School. He won a scholarship to Yale after high school.
At Yale, Harrison majored in political science. He graduated in 1998.
Harrison graduated from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2004.
He also has served as executive director of the House Democratic Caucus, as vice chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party, as a lobbyist for the Podesta Group and for United Way Worldwide and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
He became chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party in 2013, the first African American to hold the post. He served in that role until 2017.
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