South Carolina Democrats elected Cristale Spain, former executive director of the state Democratic Party, as their state party chairperson at their convention on Saturday. She ran with the support of top party officials, including Representative James E. Clyburn, and was the first black woman to lead a state party.
Why it matters: Clyburn and the old guard still rule
A longtime organizer in Palmetto State politics, Mrs. Spain was widely considered the front-runner in the race, a typically sleepless contest that has seen the most candidates compete in more than 25 years. His biggest rival, state Black Caucus chair Brandon Upson, portrayed him as an establishment candidate whose ties to the old guard would hinder the party’s progress in an all-important election year.
Mr. Democrats who backed Upson, who helped Mr. Biden beat President Biden in 2020, are ahead of the introduction of South Carolina as the party’s first presidential primary in 2024. They sought to transform a state party dominated by Clyburn. After the cycle collapses in the 2022 midterms.
However, Ms Spain’s connections, combined with her campaign strategy – social media blasts and regular visits to county party meetings and cattle calls – ultimately gave her victory. He won a standing vote with the support of nearly 700 of the party’s roughly 1,000 state delegates. Mr. Before delegates for Upson stood up to vote for him, he conceded to Ms. Spain in a short speech calling for party unity.
What’s next: Primary production and party repairs
Next leader, early voting in 2024 Democratic presidential primary: Spain’s Mrs. A party in turmoil will also have to be rebuilt. Democrats lost several safe state House and Senate seats and saw lower turnout during the 2022 midterms, which was seen as a positive for the party nationally. Mrs. Spain’s leadership will give Palmetto State Democrats a chance to recover from those losses and prepare for the national stage.
At a news conference after his victory, Spain offered a message to South Carolina voters waiting for more meaningful change from the Democratic Party.
“Don’t wait any longer,” he said, promising to focus on voter engagement efforts throughout the year. “We know who our voters are. We’re going to go back after them and do more.