COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Ahead of Congressman Jim Clyburn’s Fish Fry, the Blue Palmetto Dinner at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center was the place to be for South Carolina Democrats Friday night.
Legislative leaders, as well as workers at the local level, packed a ballroom at Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center for dinner and drinks.
“Right now, South Carolina is the center of the universe in the political world,” said New York City mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Bill de Blasio. “And South Carolina is a state that we are going to put a lot of focus on - we have been here a number of times and will be back here... it’s one of most important places in this whole election and I tell you something I’ve talked to a lot of South Carolinians. And I believe me when I tell you, we need to put working people first. A lot of people agree with that- and I’m very hopeful that’s the message that’s going to resonate here.”
South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Trav Robertson said the event is a great opportunity for elected leaders and workers in counties and precincts across the state to meet the vast majority of the Democratic contenders for President expected in attendance.
“The real thing I think Democrats are looking for irrespective of race, creed, ethnicity,” Robertson said. “They’re looking for a candidate that’s going to put together a ground game and put organizers in all 46 counties and create a structure that puts their candidiate in a position to win.”
For the candidates themselves, the dinner was chance for them and their campaigns to convince party insiders in this critical early primary state, that they not only have what it takes to win the South Carolina primary next February but also secure the nomination next summer.
Robertson said it will be incumbent on the candidates to connect with African American voters, particularly African American women who make up a sizable portion of the Democratic base if a Democratic candidate wants to carry the state.
Elected leaders including Congressman Jim Clyburn and Congressman Joe Cunningham from the Lowcountry are expected at the event.
Stay with WIS News 10 for complete coverage of the South Carolina Democratic Party Convention.