For a women’s political organization to endorse a female candidate might seem ordinary, but it’s actually very unique for two reasons in this particular case.
Yesterday the South Carolina Democratic Women’s Council endorsed Elizabeth Colbert-Busch in the 1st Congressional District race, but based on her work record instead of her gender. Moreover, the Council has never before endorsed a candidate in the primary election phase.
“We are excited to support a businesswoman who’s proven that she’s a problem solver,” said Susan Smith, president of the organization. “We know Elizabeth will uphold American ideals while representing all the people of the district, which is why the SCDWC has made this unprecedented endorsement in a primary race.”
In its over 40-year history the Council has never before endorsed a primary candidate. The strength of Colbert-Busch’s campaign, though, made SCDWC want to break that tradition and quickly climb aboard, Smith says.
“In all my years of participation in politics and with the Democratic Party, I’ve never seen any candidate generate so much excitement across the state.”
That same excitement was found in Colbert-Busch following the Council’s endorsement. “I am enormously grateful for their backing,” she said. “I am especially pleased that I received this endorsement as a result of the work I have done helping to create thousands of jobs in South Carolina.”
Adding to the Council’s desire to endorse Colbert-Busch is South Carolina’s shortcomings in elected women, Smith notes.
Further supporting Smith’s argument, South Carolina has only 18 women in its state legislature of 170 representatives and senators, the lowest percentage (10.6) of all 50 states according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“Women make up 55 percent of the voters in South Carolina,” Smith notes; that’s an accurate number for both registered and participating voters, according to the State Election Commission. “We need our votes to reflect that, too, by electing Elizabeth.”
Smith says SCDWC will begin aiding Colbert-Busch’s campaign immediately. "We have enthusiastic Democratic women statewide ready and willing to assist in her race in any way they can, and we intend to give them the opportunity to do so."
Colbert-Busch’s other endorsers include Rep. Jim Clyburn of Congressional Dist. 6, Charleston’s Mayor Joe Riley and the state AFL-CIO.
She faces Ben Frasier, who’s run for congress in almost every election cycle since 1972, in the March 19 primary.