Today the Herald offers a way for voters to take a closer look at candidates for South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District seat, which represents 11 counties including York, Chester and Lancaster.
Herald staff members attended several recent Republican and Democratic congressional candidate forums. Staff members attended the forums to provide a video report of what the candidates told voters. All of the video comes directly from local candidate forums.
There are seven Republican candidates and three Democrats seeking the seat vacated by former U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney of Indian Land, who left Congress to become President Donald Trump’s budget director.
The GOP candidates are Chad Connelly, Ray Craig, Sheri Few, Tom Mullikin, Ralph Norman, Tommy Pope and Kris Wampler. The Democratic candidates are Archie Parnell, Alexis Frank and Les Murphy.
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Party primaries are May 2. If no candidate wins a majority, a primary runoff between the top two finishers will be May 16. The general election is June 20. Voters in District 5 can select a party -- Democrat, Republican or a third party -- for the primary, but must stick with that party when voting in the runoff.
The videos of the candidates have been edited down from more than eight hours of discussions.
As the Herald staff members went through the video footage, some key issues took focus. They are health care, veterans benefits, military spending, education, energy/environment, immigration, welfare reform and Social Security. We created eight videos structured around the candidate discussions on these issues.
Two more videos, one for Republicans and the other for Democrats, show each candidate introducing himself or herself.
In the videos, you will see that Democratic and Republican candidate forums were structured differently. Still, we’ve captured what each candidate had to say on the key issues.
We believe hearing the candidates talk to voters can offer the clearest message from each candidate.
Third-party candidates did not appear at the forums we attended.
The 5th Congressional District covers all or parts of 11 counties, including Cherokee, Chester, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Newberry, Spartanburg, Sumter, Union and York.
Here’s what they said:
About health care.
About veterans benefits.
About military spending.
About energy and the environment.
About welfare reform
About Social Security