Jaime Harrison

Jaime Harrison on Wednesday used a YouTube video to officially announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.

COLUMBIA -- Orangeburg native Jaime Harrison on Wednesday announced his campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2020 on a promise to fight for opportunity for every South Carolinian.

Harrison, a Democrat, made the announcement via YouTube video.

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“Over the past several months I’ve been exploring a run for Senate and listening to what South Carolinians are looking for from our senator. I’m ready to take their voices to Washington and fight for all South Carolinians, regardless of party,” Harrison said.

“Today, I’m announcing that I am running for U.S. Senate because I believe South Carolina needs a senator who is focused on creating opportunity for all the people of this state. When your health care is threatened or you’re crushed under the weight of student loans, politics doesn’t matter — and character counts.

“After 25 years in Washington, (Republican) Sen. Lindsey Graham has lost his moral compass and would do anything to keep his job. We need a senator who will spend more time fighting for your job than his own.”

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An announcement by Harrison stated that his exploratory committee has raised nearly $500,000 from 9,288 donors. The average contribution was $40.76.

Highlights from the announcement video:

• “Comic books. That’s how I learned to read. Born to a 16-year-old mom and raised by my grandparents in small town Orangeburg, we made do with the opportunities we created for ourselves — because that’s all we had.”

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• “My grandparents didn’t have much, but they raised me right. Taught me what most South Carolinians know: character counts, so does hard work and helping others when you can. When they struggled to read their bills, I helped read them.”

• “Lindsey Graham can’t lead us in any direction because he’s traded his moral compass for petty political gain. Lindsey Graham has forgotten about the people he represents: you.”

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Harrison has been a leader in Democratic Party politics, serving as associate chair of the Democratic National Committee. He was formerly chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party.

The 1994 graduate of Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School earned degrees from Yale University and Georgetown University Law School. He then climbed the ranks of the Democratic party on Capitol Hill through a series of internships and career-defining moves that ultimately led to his candidacy for chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 2017.

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