The new Seventh Congressional District in the Pee Dee has not been approved, yet. However, another candidate has tossed his hat into the ring.
The first Democrat has entered the race for the new district, even though the Justice Department has not yet approved its lines. Parnell Diggs is a Myrtle Beach attorney who has never run for public office. However, he has experience in politics in his role as the President of the National Federation of the Blind in South Carolina, making several trips to Washington to meet with lawmakers there.
Diggs is notable in that he is also legally blind. While in high school, he made his way through South Carolina All State Chorus, varsity wrestling, and successful self-employment as a singer and guitar player. While attending the University of South Carolina law school, he worked as a law clerk at the South Carolina Office of Appellate Defense, as well as a clerk for a private firm. Diggs accepted a position as governing member of the state Commission for the Blind in 1999 and again in 2002– being the only person ever to be a client, employee, and governor of the agency. He has also been president of the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina since 2000.
Diggs has run a private practice with his father in Myrtle Beach since June 1999, focusing his practice in the areas of criminal, personal injury, and social security disability law. He said he decided to run for Congress to help make sure his 11-year-old son had a good future.
So far, Republican legislator Thad Viers is the only other candidate in the race, although that will likely change in the coming months.
The Justice Department is expected to rule on the Seventh District’s new shape by November.
South Carolina Radio Network’s Thomas Kenney contributed to this report