The State asked Midlands voters about their choices in the U.S. Senate race and the significance of the election of the state’s first African-American to a statewide office since Reconstruction. Here are some of their responses.
“I generally vote Republican so that’s why I voted for Tim Scott. I didn’t know he was the first African-American since Reconstruction, but I guess that does seem right. He’s a good guy.”
Alan Alexander, retired law enforcement officer, Lexington.
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“Joyce, because I do try to do research on some of the runners, but when time is limited as a parent, sometimes I come do a straight ballot. In a way, it takes out some of the confusion, but some people are still uneducated about the voting process and what each candidate stands for. It is better to individually investigate each candidate.”
Lakeisha Engelhardt, 34, school tutor, Northeast Richland.
“Tim Scott, because I think he’s doing well, and I’m a veteran and he’s definitely helped the veterans. I don’t care what color your skin is as long as you’re doing a good job.”
“B” Cooper, 71, retired, Northeast Richland.
“I am voting for Joyce Dickerson because I agree with her political stance. Coming from South Carolina, electing the first African-American candidate can help get redemption for the state’s reputation of racism.”
Caleb Pennington, 20, student, Cayce.
“If there had been a good American Party candidate or Green Party candidate I would have voted for them.”
Leslie Minerd, 56, self-employed, Columbia.
“I don’t agree with Tim’s policies regarding pro-life,” Dennis said. “I’m a pro-choicer. I believe that religion should not dictate our civil liberties, so I don’t agree with him in regards to traditional marital values.”
Kareemah Dennis, 35, S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs, Columbia
“I voted for her (Dickerson) because I was watching an ad the other evening, and Tim Scott came on and it was just all these little platitudes that he was saying over and over and over again. I kind of felt like I knew nothing about you at the end. And you’re the incumbent, and I should have a further understanding of who you are.
David Britt, 50, USC professor, Columbia.
“Joyce Dickerson is more along the party lines for me. Race has nothing to do with politics in my mind.”
Paula Davis, 61, retired, Cayce.
“I voted for Tim Scott because he is a conservative Republican. Race should no longer be an issue when it comes to picking the most qualified candidate.”
John Spratling, 57, finance manager, Cayce.
“Tim Scott seems articulate and I know more about him. I think it is time for us to have more diversity.”
Sue Ballentine, 54, administrative assistant, Cayce.
“Tim Scott seems like a level-headed fella with good ethics and ideas. Race has nothing to do with it, I wouldn’t care if he was green and from Mars. I think he is the best man for the job.”
Ed Wootten, 49, valet at the airport, Cayce.
University of South Carolina journalism students Damian Dominguez, Rebecca Johnson and Deborah Swearingen compiled this report.