Democratic Richland County councilwoman challenges Sen. Tim Scott

jself@thestate.comNovember 8, 2013 

Joyce Dickerson (left), candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Tim Scott, talks to Sandra Jackson at her campaign announcement in Columbia Friday.

  • Joyce Dickerson Democrat Joyce Dickerson said Friday she will seek the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Tim Scott

    Age: 68

    Family: Married 50 years to Mack Dickerson, a retired U.S. Air Force veteran; two children, Mark Dickerson and Melisa “MeMe” Spurgeon

    Political career: Richland County Council member since 2005

    Work history: Retired compliance auditor for a company that audited insurance companies; also, a cosmetologist and owner of a hair salon

    Education: Midlands Technical College, Benedict College

— Democrat Joyce Dickerson, a Richland County Council member since 2005, formally announced her candidacy Friday for the U.S. Senate.

Dickerson, a retired compliance auditor, is running for the seat held by U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-Charleston. Dickerson recently filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission indicating she planned to run for the seat.

Dickerson, who lives in Columbia’s St. Andrews area, is the first challenger to announce in the race against Scott.

Other Democrats have expressed interest in the contest but have not entered, including Rick Wade, a Lancaster native and former campaign adviser to President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 White House bids.

At a news conference in Columbia, Dickerson did not mention Scott by name. Instead, she referred to “the person we have now (who) was selected,” referring to Republican Gov. Nikki Haley’s appointment of Scott to the Senate to fill the vacancy created when Jim DeMint resigned.

Saying she wants to give South Carolinians a choice, Dickerson said, “I love a good fight.”

Dickerson said she has yet to begin fundraising. Scott has almost $3 million in his campaign account.

About two dozen people gathered to hear Dickerson announce for the race Friday.

Recently elected to her third term on Richland County Council, Dickerson said she has worked hard to ensure the county has reliable public transportation. She also talked about her leadership roles in women’s rights organizations and work recruiting women to serve in public office, including the National Foundation for Women Legislators, which she chairs, and the National Order of Women Legislators, where she is president.

Dickerson said she will fight for the “declining middle class.”

She said she decided to run against Scott after reading an article in The State newspaper about two other possible candidates who said they thinking about running for the seat. Then, she said, she received a message, urging her to run.

“The spirit of the Lord clearly spoke to me and said, ‘Why not you?’ ”

Reach Self at (803)771-8658

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