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1st Congressional Race touches down on Daniel Island
By Elizabeth Bush
Feb 13, 2013 - 9:24:03 AM


Surrounded by more than 100 friends and family members, with a picturesque backdrop of the marsh-lined Wando River, Daniel Island resident Shawn Pinkston officially kicked off his campaign for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District seat at Pierce Park Pavilion on January 29.
“These people are my first responders,” said Pinkston, of the enthusiastic crowd gathered for the event. “When you ask your friends for their support and they say ‘yes’ loudly and proudly, it’s a good feeling.”
Two weeks later, fellow Republican contender Curtis Bostic met with supporters at the home of Colby and Heather Hollified in Cochran Park. And on February 20, five other Washington hopefuls will speak at a Candidate Forum at the Daniel Island Club hosted by the Daniel Island Business Association (DIBA).
Politicking is in full swing on Daniel Island, and in the rest of the areas included in the 1st Congressional District, as candidates busily prepare for the Republican and Democratic Primaries on March 19. A potential Primary run-off will be held on April 2, followed by the general election on May 7.
Another Daniel Island resident who is stepping out on the campaign trail is Berkeley County Councilman Tim Callanan, who recently resigned his post as Chair of the Berkeley County Republican Party to head up the 1st Congressional District election campaign for Sen. Larry Grooms. Grooms currently represents Daniel Island, and portions of Charleston and Berkeley County, as a state senator of District 37. Callanan said he “couldn’t be more excited” to work for Grooms in his bid for South Carolina’s open congressional seat.  
“I’ve been friends with Larry for a while and I just have always been a big supporter of his,” added Callanan, who was on Daniel Island with Grooms last Saturday to do some door-to-door campaigning. “Anytime we’ve needed something, he’s always responded right away. We share the same philosophy on government.”
Callanan said he plans to do what he does best when campaigning for candidates (he supported former Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum last year), and that is meeting one on one with voters.
“I specialize more in the grassroots kind of stuff, going door to door, getting coalitions together…A lot of people are feeling very deflated (with politics) right now…We’ve got to get some excitement up. I want to get our guy in there versus somebody who just passes Daniel Island on the highway. It will be a lot of work…but we’re up for it!”
Another benefit Daniel Island brings to the table, said Callanan, is that island voters consistently turn out in large numbers to cast their ballots.
“I’m hoping Daniel Island can do what it almost always does, and outperform the rest of the county and region.”
The upcoming 1st Congressional District Candidate Forum on February 20 is further evidence of the island’s interest in hearing from those who are seeking to represent the community in Washington.  According to DIBA President Clyde Hiers, the organization invited who they consider to be the race’s top five contenders to participate at the event: Sen. Larry Grooms, Rep. Chip Limehouse, former S.C. Governor Mark Sanford, John Kuhn, and Teddy Turner. To come up with the list of invitees, Hiers said he and the DIBA Forum Selection Committee established a criteria that included prior political experience; current pro-business attitude, expression and experience; financial capacity of the candidate’s campaign to sustain itself throughout the race; a demonstrated acute awareness of the Daniel Island business community and issues most relevant to DIBA; and pro-economic development.  
“We established some basic criteria that said we can’t invite all 19 candidates,” added Hiers. “There just wasn’t enough time, and more importantly, if you do invite all 19, you’re not going to get any meaningful dialogue.”
Hiers said he and his DIBA colleagues set their sights on the candidates with “serious prior experience” and those who demonstrated an early commitment to winning the race and seeing it through to the end financially. Each candidates’ demonstrated support for business and Daniel Island was the most important, he added. DIBA did not extend an invitation to any Democratic candidates for the forum.
“This is an 80 percent Republican district,” said Hiers. “We didn’t see a reason to waste precious time. If we had six months or a year to do this, we would have invited everybody. They just didn’t give us a lot of time.”
An RSVP is required to attend the upcoming Candidate Forum to allow for adequate space preparation at the Daniel Island Club. A cash bar will be provided beginning at 6:30 p.m. during a “meet and greet” with the candidates. The program will begin at 7:15, with each candidate receiving approximately 12 minutes to speak, followed by a question and answer session as time allows. To RSVP, or to submit a question for the forum, send an email to dibusinessassociation@gmail.com.

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