After announcing his intentions of jumping back in the saddle as chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, Columbia attorney Dick Harpootlian says he wants to lead a revitalization of the party.
Known for his outspokenness, Harpootlian wasted little time in firing barbs at the state GOP. In an interview Friday with SCRN, Harpootlian said the Republican Party has become the state’s dominant political party in large measure due to its manipulation of the divisive issue of race, which started with reapportionment in the late 1980s.
Harpootlian says an example of state Republicans’ use of divisive racial politics is the positioning of the Confederate flag on the State House grounds.
He says southern Democrats and Republicans, including those in South Carolina, share a fiscal conservative position that is probably unique to other parts of the country. However, he said the difference lies in the fact that while state Democrats are looking to the future, members of the state GOP are looking to turn back the clock.
Harpootlian served as S C. Democratic Party Chairman from 1999 to 2003. State Democrats will choose a replacement for current chairwoman Carol Fowler at their state convention April 30. Fowler is stepping down after serving two terms.