Senator Ford blames election failure on Black Caucus

By Hatzel Vela  bio | email | Twitter

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - State Senator Robert Ford said fellow Senator Vincent Sheheen won the primary because the party bosses at the state level handpicked him.

"They didn't want [State Superintendent Jim] Rex in the race and they didn't want Robert Ford in the race," Ford said from his West Ashley home Wednesday night.

Ford garnered 18 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary Tuesday, behind Rex who had 23 percent of the vote.

Sheheen won the race with 59 percent.

Ford blames his demise on his friends in the Black Legislative Caucus, who endorsed Sheheen.

"Anything the caucus asked me I do, but yet they're going to come out and support somebody else," said Ford, who said he was bitter about the results and the election process.

Ford says his political connection helped garner enough votes to re-appoint the lone black member to the board at the University of South Carolina.

Ford, 60, also touted his influence, which he said helped put more than a dozen black judges on the bench.

"They lost their mind. I'm just not a senator. I'm a dynamic senator. I get stuff done," Ford said of the Black Legislative Caucus.

"I wanted to prove to South Carolina and to whole the country that an African-American could be governor of this state," he said. "They denied me of that and I'll never forgive them."

Ford thanked the more than 33,000 voters who supported him.

He discounts the political pundits who thought he would never earn double digits in the election.

"They had me at two percent, three percent. How in the hell you gonna be a senator with my status, with the things I do for the state three and four percent. It don't make no damn sense. Excuse the language," Ford said.

He was not surprised Rex -- like him -- lagged behind Sheheen.

Money was a challenge he knew would be a problem for both.

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