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Vote and Stay Civil
8/7/2013 1:35:19 PM

By Barney Blakeney 

Next week voters in S.C. Senate Dist. 42 will elect the Democratic candidate for the Oct. 1 special election to fill former Charleston Sen. Robert Ford’s unexpired term. I really feel good about this election. There are some really good candidates vying for the seat. 

Six Democrats are in the running - Emmanuel Ferguson, Herbert S. Fielding, Marlon Kimpson, Margaret Rush, Bob Thompson and Maurice Washington. All those folks bring some real talents to the table. As a constituent in District 42, I’m hard pressed to decide for whom I should vote. 

I just got off the phone with Rev. Joseph Darby, who I erroneously wrote has endorsed Kimpson. For the record, Darby said he hasn’t endorsed any candidate. 

I heard he’d endorsed Kimpson from someone I trust as reliable and got it wrong. I’m not beating myself up about it. People make mistakes. 

That’s why they put erasers on pencils. I called Reb, fessed up, apologized and we’ve moved on. 

Not everyone can do that. Some people will tie you up in chains and drag your behind to hell’s gates for making mistakes - as if they don’t make any. To those pseudo-christians, I say bring on the chains. 

But back to the point, my chat with Reb was interesting. Every one of the candidates posses some sterling qualities. The folks in Dist. 42 are going to luck out. No matter which candidate wins the election, the constituents are going to get a good representative. 

The only negative about this election is the crap that’s going on as the candidates compete. 

Reb got tossed in the fire because he made some positive remarks about Kimpson who is a native of Columbia. I keep hearing this crap about electing someone who is not from here. Folks, that’s pure bull. All of us are from somewhere else. 

Reb was responding to a senseless email sent out by Robert Ford that decried Kimpson’s candidacy because he’s from Columbia. 

Well if that ain’t about a blip! Robert Ford represented Dist. 42 20 years. He’s from Louisiana! 

Folks, don’t let anybody throw you that ‘cum yah, been yah’ crap. Some of them cum yahs have contributed more to our community than many of the been yahs - my publisher Jim French (Kansas) among them. Look around you, them cum yahs are among the greatest contributors to our community. Just think about the folks you know. 

Another thing voters in Dist. 42 should be careful about is Maurice Washington’s political castration. I like Charleston County Democratic Chairman Richard Hricik. I think he means well. But Dick, your wrong on this one. 

My brothers and sisters, trust me - all Democrats ain’t your friend and all Republicans ain’t your enemy. 

Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged us to judge a man by the content of his character. Whether Democrat, Republican or pink panther, if you think Washington brings the skill set to the table you feel are needed to represent you, give him your vote. 

Later for all that Democrat/Republican crap. Every white Republican officeholder in Charleston County today formerly was a Democrat. 

And then there’s this thing about people choosing sides and falling out with their friends over who’s supporting who. 

I recently talked with one of the candidates who said there are people in the district who have been friends for years, but will never speak to each other again after the election. The candidate said no matter who wins, after the election they each will go back to whatever it is they do, and those folks still won’t be speaking to each other. 

Still, I’m really encouraged by this election. It’s an example of how all elections should look, especially those in which the future of the Black community is held in the balance - capable candidates who each can get the job done. 

The candidates in this election have the opportunity to serve as a model for future elections in majority Black districts. Our best and brightest should step forward to make contributions. Too many Black elected officials cruise through their political careers unopposed. 

What does it say when one Black person retires from elective office - that there was no one else in that district who was capable of leadership? 

I know that’s not true. Just as these six beautiful talented individuals came forward this time, others should come forward the next time. 

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