Candidates for U.S. Senate seat make their case at town hall - - Columbia, South Carolina

Candidates for U.S. Senate seat make their case at town hall forum


Sen. Lindsey Graham was in Columbia along with many of the men and women trying to take his senate seat.

They all got a chance to make their case at a candidate town hall forum hosted by the Palmetto Family Council.

Republican minister Det Bowers, said he'd repeal Obamacare and shrink the federal government.

"The larger the federal government, the smaller the citizen," Bowers said. "There is such an overreach by the federal government."

Next up, it was State Senator Lee Bright, a tea party favorite who attacked Sen. Graham on amnesty for immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally.

"To think about what's going on in our Veteran's Administration, I wish that we showed the compassion to the veteran that we show to the illegal immigrant," Bright said.

Businessman Richard Cash said he'd make bureaucracies more accountable and focus on Constitution, faith, and family.

"We must fight for and win the sanctity of human life," Cash said. "We must fight for and win the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman."

Then combat vet Bill Connor who talked about national defense and limiting some foreign involvement.

"I volunteered for Afghanistan," Connor said. "3,000 Americans were killed on our soil from a mission planned in Afghanistan. That was of vital national interest to protect everyone here, including my three children and my wife of 23 years."

Incumbent Sen. Graham spoke next and defended his stance on immigration saying it's an economic problem.

"If you're picking peaches or doing meat-packing or landscaping, you can advertise til the cows come home and not get people here to do these jobs," Graham said. "You may not like hearing that, but I think it's true."

Next was businesswoman Nancy Mace who called for term limits and fixing the tax structure.

"We need folks in Washington who understand how to create revenue, create jobs, who understand technology, because technology can actually save us taxpayer dollars," Mace said.

Finally the only democratic candidate Jay Stamper.

On Wednesday, the state democratic party endorsed his opponent State Senator Brad Hutto.

Stamper was asked why and said it's because of his own democratic platform.

"Their idea is that you have to act like a Republican to be elected as a Democrat," Stamper said. "I don't think that's the future of the Democratic Party in South Carolina."

Stamper probably had the most memorable line of the night. When introduced as the only democrat present, he drew laughter by saying Lindsey Graham is arguably a democrat too.

The South Carolina primary is on June 10.

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