A Columbia Democratic county councilwoman says she intends to run against incumbent Republican Sen. Tim Scott.
Richland County Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson is the first to officially announce a campaign against the first-year senator, although other Democrats are considering it. Dickerson told South Carolina Radio Network that the idea came to her while reading about the upcoming 2014 race.
“You know, it was like the Lord just spoke to me and said, ‘Why not you?'” she said. “And I’m like, ‘Yeah, why not me?'”Dickerson, who has represented the northern part of Richland County since 2005, said she believes South Carolina’s all-male congressional delegation can be broken up. “They don’t really speak for us,” she said. “When I say ‘us,’ I mean women’s issues. I don’t really ever hear that come up.”
Dickerson, a retired compliance auditor, is currently the chair of the National Foundation for Women Legislators and has spent much of her retired life recruiting other women to run in politics. She said one of her top accomplishments on county council was helping save Columbia’s financially-struggling transit system.
The councilwoman admits that she faces long odds in a conservative state like South Carolina. However she believes this may be a “once in a lifetime” shot, as Scott is still a freshman senator. Scott was appointed by Governor Nikki Haley after former Sen. Jim DeMint resigned in January.
“The fact of the matter is that he’s never ran a statewide campaign,” Dickerson said, noting that Scott previously represented a coastal district in the U.S. House. “Perhaps my visibility can be close to his.”
Most observers believe Scott’s popularity among Republicans makes him a heavy favorite to keep his seat in 2014. Several other Democrats are also considering a run against him though, including State Sen. John Scott (D-Columbia) and former Obama campaign advisor Rick Wade.
Possibly the most interesting aspect of the race is that all four possible candidates are African-American. It could be the first time in South Carolina history that two African-Americans won their party’s nomination for a U.S. Senate race.