Congressional Democrat Lone SC Clyburn files for 16th term | Politics


COLUMBIA, SC (AP) — U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn filed Monday to seek a 16th term representing South Carolina’s 6th District, saying he was headed for his next campaign as long as his health and the support of his family remain strong.

“I’m in pretty good health, so I’m going to keep going until my health tells me to quit, or my three daughters,” Clyburn, 81, told The Associated Press.

Clyburn said he monitors his cholesterol levels closely and heeds his doctor’s advice, even taking a small dose of aspirin daily.

“I told them, if you ever see that I need to go to the rocking chair or spend my free time on the golf course, let me know,” he added, about advice from his daughters. “And so far they’re telling me, from what they’re feeling and hearing, I should keep going.”

As of Monday afternoon, no other candidate had filed with state officials to face Clyburn, currently South Carolina’s only congressional Democrat. First elected in 1992, Clyburn represents the district that stretches from areas around the capital city of Columbia through rural central and eastern counties to Charleston.

Since then, he has become the No. 3 Democrat in the House. He is also the highest-ranking black member of Congress, championing a variety of issues, including rural broadband access and chairing a congressional panel focused on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was his pivotal role in the 2020 presidential election for which Clyburn drew praise from his party. Clyburn’s endorsement of Joe Biden ahead of the South Carolina primary is credited with helping the Democrat revive a then-fractious campaign and win a landslide victory in the South’s first ballot.

Several Democrats have filed federal fundraising papers challenging Clyburn, though only one – educator Gregg Marcel Dixon – said he received any money, scoring around $11,000 late last year. .

South Carolina’s primary election will be held on June 14. Filing closes March 30.

Clyburn won reelection in 2020 by nearly 40 percentage points and has nearly $2.5 million in his reelection war chest. Feeling confident in his own contest, Clyburn said he plans to spend time campaigning for other Democrats, scheduling swings in California, New York, North Carolina, Florida and Georgia.

“I will be going to these states in the next few weeks, helping as many candidates as I can,” he said.

Clyburn filed his nomination papers on the opening day of confirmation hearings for Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, whom Biden nominated to fill the soon-to-be-vacated U.S. Supreme Court seat by retired Justice Stephen Breyer. She is the first black woman appointed to the high court, something Biden promised to do following a suggestion by Clyburn before the South Carolina primary.

Clyburn had lobbied for Michelle Childs — a South Carolina federal judge already appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit — to get the go-ahead, saying Monday he believed Childs would be on the shortlist if Biden had the chance to choose another candidate.

“From everything I hear, the president had no problem with Michelle,” Clyburn said. “He could only make one date, so he went with Ketanji.”

On Monday, Clyburn said he looked forward to continuing to work with Biden, whom he said he didn’t always agree with. But he said differences were a starting point for progress – not a point of disunity.

“We try to find common ground and move forward collectively,” he said, noting that he was often at political disagreements with his late wife Emily, whom he considered an adviser and confidante to foreground.

“I don’t think we can grow as a country if we all agree. President Biden and I agree on a lot of things, but we don’t agree on everything.

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