State House

Former Prosecutor Seeks Upset In South Carolina Senate Race

“I realized I didn’t want to just tell the stories from the sidelines.”

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A reporter-turned-prosecutor is campaigning for one of the few competitive districts in the South Carolina Senate – hoping to score an upset primary victory en route to flipping a seat that’s been held by Democrats for generations.

Christina Allard – who previously worked for the Today show and Fox News in Washington, D.C. – switched gears years ago and became a prosecutor. According to a news release announcing her candidacy, Allard “realized I didn’t want to just tell the stories from the sidelines” but instead “wanted to be a part of the change we need.”

Allard graduated cum laude from the University of South Carolina law school and shortly thereafter began working for the S.C. fifth circuit solicitor’s office. Based in Camden, S.C., she worked a multitude of cases ranging from minor offenses to murders – all with the goal of “protecting the community and holding criminals accountable,” according to her website.

From there, she moved to the office of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson – where she worked in the state grand jury division.

“Christina has been prosecuting large-scale drug trafficking cases with ties to Mexican drug cartels,” her website noted. “Her work has helped dismantle criminal networks and protect South Carolina from the devastating effects of drug trafficking and addiction.”

That’s an impressive résumé …



While Allard has no political experience, she has testified before the S.C. Senate judiciary committee and worked with lawmakers to help “shape legislation to combat drug-related crime.”

Can she make it to Columbia as a senator?

Conventional wisdom holds that centrist “Republican” Lindsay Agostini – a Midlands-area school board member – is the favorite among the four GOP candidates seeking this seat. Agostini is certainly expected to devote the most resources to the primary among the Republican contenders, and politicos acknowledge her reputation as a moderate might make her more “electable” in this swing district.

Does that mean she’s the best candidate, though? Or would citizens be better served by having someone in office who would make public safety a priority?

In addition to Allard and Agostini, Jerry Chivers – a veteran and farmer from Rembert, S.C. – is seeking the GOP nomination. So is veteran and businessman Mike Jones of Camden, S.C. Chivers is campaigning on “our state’s economy, educational system, affordable healthcare, improving our infrastructure, and protecting our environment,” while Jones is campaigning on a host of different issues – including judicial reform.

S.C. Senate District 35 includes parts of Sumter, Lee, Kershaw and Richland counties. It has been represented since 2012 by Democrat Thomas McElveen of Sumter. McElveen easily won a Democratic primary for this seat that year after incumbent Phil Leventis declined to seek a ninth term in office.

Two months ago, McElveen announced his intention to step down at the end of his current term.

Two Democrats – home health therapist Lucy Mahon of Sumter, S.C. and former Camden, S.C. mayor Jeffrey R. Graham – qualified for the ballot. Partisan primary elections are scheduled for June 11, 2024. If no candidate were to receive a majority of ballots cast, runoff elections would be held two weeks later (on June 25, 2024).



(Travis Bell Photography)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and eight children.



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