Politics & Government

New DNC chair in SC to fire up Democrats. Can he keep it clean?

S.C. Democrats will kick off their annual convention Friday with their Blue Palmetto dinner and a speech from Tom Perez, their new, fiery national chairman.

But will the former Obama administration labor secretary keep his language clean?

Perez has tried to fire up the Democratic base since he became chairman earlier this year, which has included some more colorful language than politicians normally use. Last month, Perez told supporters that Republicans “don’t give a s--- about people” during a Facebook Live appearance.

South Carolina ears might hear something similar at Friday’s dinner.

“Our current president has used some colorful language himself,” said Jaime Harrison, the outgoing chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party. “I don’t think Tom will use anything he hasn’t used.”

Harrison thinks dinner-goers will hear the chairman speak about the “urgency” of rebuilding the party after a surprise 2016 loss, including a focus on investing in state parties.

Harrison will be heading up an effort to boost state parties as an associate DNC chairman, a re-organization he championed during his own bid to head the DNC.

“We have to make investments in state parties, so we can compete not only to send people to Washington, but to win state races,” he said.

The Blue Palmetto Dinner will be at the Medallion Conference Center on Garners Ferry Road in Columbia.


S.C. Democrats will choose a new state chair on Saturday during the party’s state convention in Columbia.

The two candidates to succeed current chairman Jaime Harrison are Trav Robertson of Anderson, who formerly managed campaigns for Barack Obama and Vincent Sheheen, and Sarah Smith of Pawley’s Island, president of the S.C. Democratic Women’s Council.