Municipal Madness: Columbia SC

First district race could shift city’s balance of power …

More than 150 municipal elections are on tap across South Carolina today … including one in the capital city of Columbia that could conceivably shift its balance of power.

This race pits two-decade incumbent councilman Sam Davis against challenger Chris Sullivan.   More than that, it pits the city’s corrupt past against a young black candidate offering an alternative vision.

We’ve previously profiled this race – which will decide who represents residents of the poverty-stricken first district of the city.

Home to dilapidated and abandoned housing complexes and an elevated crime rate, the first district is emblematic of the urban blight and hopelessness that has come with the “old” generation of black leadership.

Can Sullivan do better?  We don’t know … but we don’t see how he could do worse.

The negative campaigning in this race has kicked into high gear of late as black establishment forces led by corrupt city mayor Steve Benjamin and powerful U.S. congressman Jim Clyburn have been working overtime in an effort to discredit Sullivan.

Why?  Because Davis is their pocket vote … 

He has consistently supported failed crony capitalist deals like the Bull Street redevelopment project – and is a reliable supporter of Benjamin’s tax hikes.

If he stays on council, Benjamin will be able to continue advancing his self-serving schemes … while core government services go woefully underfunded.

What sort of attacks are being lobbed against Sullivan?

Take a look at the anonymous attack piece that landed in district one mailboxes late last week …

(Click to view)

(Via: Provided)

Back in the summer, this news site and other media outlets received an anonymous three-ring binder alleging that Sullivan was a gang member – a charge that has been repeated often by Davis and his supporters.

We investigated these claims and could find nothing to justify the allegations against Sullivan.  Similarly, The (Columbia, S.C.) Free Times also ran an article about these allegations and found nothing to support them.

The latest attack piece attempts to link Sullivan to U.S. president Donald Trump, who is very unpopular within the black community.  It also pictures S.C. representative Kirkman Finlay – a “Republican” who runs a scholarship nonprofit that provides school supplies to needy members of the Columbia, S.C. black community.

Sullivan has assisted Finlay in distributing those school supplies … and is now being attacked for his proximity to the GOP lawmaker.

“Desperate politicians will say anything to try to hold onto their seats,” Sullivan told us in response to the mailer.

This hard-fought race will be decided on Tuesday.  Sources familiar with the election say turnout will be exceedingly low – probably in single digits (which is abysmal).

That means everything will depend on turnout …

Davis has not run a good campaign.  Sullivan’s message of new leadership, accountability and change has been gaining traction in the community, we’re told – as evidenced by the negative attacks being directed at Sullivan.  The Clyburn-Benjamin machine is clearly nervous and busy pulling out all the stops to keep Davis as their pocket vote on council.

Will they succeed?

We’ll find out tonight …



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