In a strong sign of bi-partisan support, several African-American community leaders – and lifelong Democrats – came together at a press conference in West Ashley to publicly announce their endorsements of Katie Arrington for Congress.
“Today is a new day in the City of Charleston,” said Charleston-area businessman Jerome Heyward.“We sound the alarm that some lifelong Democrats have decided to support the best candidate in this race, and that is Katie Arrington.”
“A lot of folks have taken our votes for granted,” continued Heyward.“I will be blunt – Democrats have taken us for granted for a long time. They just assume the master leaver still works, and that’s gone. The master leaver is long gone. Today, we stand united, and we shall not be moved. We have businessmen and businesswomen supporting the candidate that we think suits the job, and that is Katie Arrington.”
Moncks Corner business owner and contractor Joey Jefferson echoed Heyward’s sentiments.
“I am lifelong Democrat from Berkeley County,” said Jefferson, who is also the son of Democratic State Representative Joe Jefferson.“On this day, it is not about Democrats or Republicans; it is about the candidate. On this day, we have found a candidate that we believe will represent the issues that are pressing in this Tri-County area, and that candidate is Katie Arrington.”
“Mrs. Arrington has given us the opportunity to get to know her,” continued Jefferson.“I have found in her a genuine person. I’ve found in her a person who has struggled. I’ve found in her a person who has had to take several steps backward in order to go forward – things that we all can relate too. We stand with Katie.”
Christian Rainey, who runs a non-profit working to stop domestic violence, highlighted Arrington’s experiences in his endorsement.
“I am supporting Katie because she understands struggle,” said Rainey.“She understands the life of a person who wasn’t born with everything. She knows what it feels like to stand in line for assistance. She knows what it feels like to not have. And she is not someone trying to sympathize with you; she is somebody that can empathize and has walked the same path that you walked.”
“It is not about the Democrat Party or Republican Party,” continued Rainey.“The only thing I can do is support the best candidate, who I feel is Katie Arrington because she believes and walks the walk. She is going to go up there, fight for us, and be successful.”
Also attending the press conference in support of Arrington were business owners and church leaders including Calvin Whitfield, Rene Massey, Samitria Gailliard, Quinton Heyward, Melinda Dingle, and Michelle Stent.
Arrington humbly and graciously accepted the endorsements. Her complete prepared remarks are as follows:
“I am humbled and honored to have the support of these community leaders – well-respected business owners, directors, executives.
Many of these leaders and I share commonality in our past in that we have had to work for everything we have. We have overcome adversity to make better lives for our families. And, we never, ever take anything for granted.
I’m grateful for the support of these leaders because most are democrats, lifelong democrats – standing tall and strong at the risk of ridicule from their party members to endorse me.
They are doing this today because they know this election is about our families and about our future. They are doing this because, despite how my opponent is trying to push it, this campaign is about more than just one issue.
It’s about continuing to grow our economy, creating more jobs, and seeing wages increase.
It’s about continuing to keep taxes low, so our families keep more of their hard-earned money.
It’s about making our communities, state, and nation safer.
It’s about ensuring educational system provides opportunity for everyone.
It’s about improving our roads and bridges and fixing the flooding problems that plague all of our neighborhoods.
Most importantly, this election is about who can truly represent and be a powerful voice for the Lowcountry – our individuals, families, churches, civic organizations, businesses, and communities.
I thank these incredible leaders again for their support and thank you all for being here today for this major announcement.”