Alvin Greene is coming to York County.
The enigmatic U.S. Senate nominee - nationally known after his stunning victory in a Democratic primary - has agreed to speak at a forum hosted by western York County Democrats.
Greene confirmed the Aug. 30 appearance in a brief interview with The Herald, saying he'll talk about jobs, education and justice, the oft-repeated themes of his campaign.
The visit was organized by local Democratic activist Will Bigger.
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Bigger said he lobbied Greene over several phone calls, finally convincing him to attend the gathering, planned at the Coal Yard Restaurant and Lounge, 105 Garner St., near downtown. The 6:30 p.m. event is open to the public.
Western York County Democrats want to revive a monthly forum dormant for two years.
"I thought, who better to get this re-started than Alvin Greene?" Bigger said. "It kind of scares me - because who am I going to bring in to compete with this in September?"
Other local activists wonderer how Bigger managed to get Greene, who has made few public appearances since his June 8 primary win over Vic Rawl.
Greene faces incumbent U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint in the Nov. 2 election.
Melvin Poole, president of the Rock Hill NAACP, said he has talked with Greene about doing an event, but has not reached an agreement.
Bigger credits persistence, saying he called often and reminded Greene of the potential benefits.
"When I could not get a commitment from him and all I got was one-word answers, I got pretty stern," Bigger said. "I let him know that York County is one of the fastest-growing parts of the state... (and) I let him know I was going to have to invite someone else if he didn't commit."
A few days later, Bigger said, Greene called back and accepted.
Asked Tuesday about his plans for the speech, Greene repeated his focus on jobs, education and justice and said he'll work to end the recession.
"I'm just taking my message to the constituents of South Carolina," Greene said.
The York County Democratic Party was not involved in organizing Greene's visit, said chairman Richards McCrae.
"If he is, in fact, going to be making an appearance, we will spread the word and make sure our loyal activists know he'll be up here," said McCrae. "I'm sure he'll draw a very good crowd."
Bigger is a familiar face in Democratic circles. The 27-year-old York native ran unsuccessfully for a seat on County Council in 2006. He interned for U.S. Rep. John Spratt while attending Francis Marion University.
In the June 8 primary, Bigger said, he voted for Rawl - but said he now believes Greene deserves a chance to be heard.
"At the end of the day, he did win the nomination and he is the candidate," Bigger said.
Noting the curiosity surrounding Greene's candidacy, Bigger admits he is not quite sure what to expect.
"There are going to be Republicans, Democrats, people just eager to see him," Bigger said. "This is not the typical Democratic forum, to say the least."