On a perfect day weather-wise and in front of a respectable-sized crowd, the Sumter Tea Party hosted candidates from all parties to a stump meeting held Saturday on the Sumter Court House steps. Seven candidates came by to pitch their themes.
Marty Atkinson, who was at the event to lead the National Anthem, stayed to hear the politicians speak.
I’ve pretty much got my mind made up, most of them, but very pleased with everything Nikki Haley’s been saying so far, Mick Mulvaney. I’ve pretty much decided on them, but I really think the conservative side is where it needs to get back to.
Sumter lawyer and City Councilman Walter “Sonny” Newman was glad to see Sumter citizens have this opportunity to hear the candidates first hand.
This is democracy. This is grassroots democracy. Whether you like the Tea Party, like the Democrats, like the Republicans or don’t like anybody, this is what it’s all about. People getting to stand out here and say what they think and where they think we ought to go as a country. So, I think it’s terrific.
Newman didn’t think the Sumter citizens would hear anything new that afternoon.
They’ve said it all by now, they know what they’re going to say, they know what their themes are as they drive towards the last week of the campaign. And so there won’t be anything new here, but still it’s a chance to see some of them.
A poll of Likely Voters by Rasmussen indicated last week that 11 percent had not yet made a decision regarding the South Carolina Governor’s race. Newman, a Sheheen supporter, says that’s a chunk of voters.
That shows a lot of people have questions in their minds about what should they do? And so the window of opportunity is there for Mr. Sheheen. But can he close the deal? Can he convince them, that even though they’ve got doubts about Mrs. Haley, that they should vote for him?
Stan Schaetzle, a retired military veteran, feels that the event wouldn’t sway the majority of voters one way or the other.
The people I know, and the people I rub elbows with, I would rather predict they’ve already made up their minds. The main thing is for everybody to get out and vote, no matter what their persuasion is, to get out and vote.
The Sumter County Tea Party extended an invitation to candidates of both parties. Both state and local candidates were on hand to meet with the people.