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Dixon And Ford To Challenge Scott And Kimpson
4/6/2016 4:15:23 PM

Sen. Tim Scott

Thomas Dixon

Sen. Marlon Kimpson

Robert Ford
By Barney Blakeney

The candidate filing deadline for the November 8 general elections was April 1.

It’s yielded two significant surprises - former Charleston Sen. Robert Ford will run as a Democrat against incumbent Sen. Marlon Kimpson and Democrat Thomas Dixon will challenge incumbent U.S. Sen. Tim Scott.

Both challengers are long shot hopefuls.

Dixon is founder of the Coalition: People United To Take Back Our Community, a founding member of the local Black Lives Matter organization and a member of the Carolina Alliance for Fair Employment (CAFE).

The Illinois native never has sought public office.

Ford is a veteran politician who first served on Charleston City Council before being elected to the South Carolina Legislature. Scott and Kimpson both are serving their first terms in office.

Dixon announced in February he would attempt to unseat the controversial Scott, a Republican, who is South Carolina’s first Black U.S. Senator since Reconstruction.

Scott served two terms on Charleston County Council before being elected to the state legislature.

During his initial term in the legislature, he was appointed in 2012 to fill the unexpired term of Jim DeMint. Scott won the seat in a 2014 special election.

The Republican has emerged as a controversial figure in local politics because of his conservative positions who often runs counter to what many expect of a Black politician.

But Dixon said he isn’t running against Scott, he’s running to serve the constituents.

He said government currently works for special interests and specific segments of the population.

Quality education is reduced to talking points as wage earners subsidize tax breaks granted to huge corporations.

Laws meant to protect Second Amendment rights are manipulated to protect unscrupulous gun dealers.

But Scott has enjoyed exceptional favor in Republican-dominated South Carolina and has no opposition for the June 14 primary election.

He is highly favored to win the general election against Dixon.

Ford will face off with Kimpson in his effort to recapture his S.C. Senate Dist. 42 seat.

Ford resigned the seat amid controversy in May 2012.

 Ford was indicted in 2013 on eight charges that included forgery and misconduct in office in addition to six ethics violations.

He faced the same charges from the Senate Ethic committee in 2012 which resulted in his resignation that May after serving 20 years in the S.C. General Assembly. Ford pled guilty to four charges against him alleging he violated rules regarding the spending of campaign funds.

Kimpson won the seat in a 2013 special election against seven challengers. He said he’s been humbled to serve the past two years and considers it an honor to serve again this year, the final year of Ford’s unexpired term.

Kimpson said he plans to run an aggressive campaign against a challenger who only lost once since being elected to public office in 1975. “I’m going to let my work speak for me,” said Kimpson who notes the passage of bills to require police body cameras, to remove the Confederate Flag from the Statehouse grounds and domestic violence among his most important legislative accomplishments.

Ford and Kimpson will face off in the June 14 Primary elections.

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