South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison has been picked by President-elect Joe Biden to head the Democratic National Committee, Reuters reported Thursday.
Harrison ran for the U.S. Senate in South Carolina in 2020, shattering fundraising records when he raised $109 million in donations before ultimately losing to incumbent Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham. The fundraising attracted national attention for Harrison although he lost the election by 10 percentage points, according to the Post and Courier.
Harrison grew up in Orangeburg, about 37 miles southeast of Columbia, South Carolina. About 40 percent of the Columbia population is Black. Protests erupted in Columbia after the May 25 death of George Floyd while in police custody.
“I remember eating cereal with water because we couldn’t afford milk. I know poverty,” Harrison said during an interview ahead of the 2020 election.
Both candidates talked about their views on reparations.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.
“As a nation, we must address the root causes of the issues that leave behind folks who look like me,” Harrison said in a Post and Courier report. “I don’t support cash reparations, but let’s right these injustices by investing in Black communities like we have invested in others, making the ‘American Dream’ a reality for all families. We should invest in our schools, rebuild our infrastructure, address environmental justice issues, tackle health care disparities and support Black-owned businesses.”
As Democratic National Committee Chairman, Harrison will replace Tom Perez, who said he did not plan to serve another term. Harrison worked previously for South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, who is credited with helping Biden secure the Democratic presidential nomination.
Since the election, Harrison has launched a new political fundraising group, Dirt Road PAC, to support Democratic candidates in other races in the South. The PAC’s first success was in Georgia on Jan. 5 when Democrats won two U.S. Senate runoffs, giving the party a Senate majority.
Harrison’s experience working for Clyburn on Capitol Hill, leading a state party and running as a statewide candidate helped him to build an expansive network in the party, Post and Courier reported.
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