Woman running for S.C. secretary of state

October 8, 2009 

Richland County resident Marjorie Johnson is seeking the Democratic nomination for secretary of state. Johnson, according to her Web site, is a retired public relations executive.

A native Washingtonian, Johnson is president of the Richland Democratic Women and a member of the S.C. Democratic Women's Council.

She said she is running "to eliminate at least one of South Carolina's negative numbers, that of (its) number fifty (ranking) in women elected to statewide office."

So far, Johnson is the only Democrat to file documents with the State Ethics Commission to begin raising money to run for secretary of state.

Republican Secretary of State Mark Hammond is the only other candidate raising money to make a run for the office in 2010.

Hammond, 45, was first elected in 2002. Voters will go to the polls in June to choose Democratic and Republican nominees for secretary of state. The general election is in November 2010.

Johnson, who describes herself as "on the sunnyside of 70," according to her campaign materials, holds a bachelor's degree in English and journalism from the University of Maryland. She also holds a masters in general administrative management from the University of Maryland's University College.

Johnson ran for the Maryland state House in 1998 but withdrew from the race before the election. She moved to South Carolina in 2002 and immediately got involved in politics.

Johnson said her run is motivated by education, health care and economic rankings that typically have South Carolina near the bottom among states.

A statistic that could be changed if she is elected is the one showing that no woman holds a statewide elected office in South Carolina.

"(The lack of women elected officials) is simply not of this century," Johnson said.

- Leroy Chapman Jr.

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