Tom Clements, an environmental activist running for the US Senate in South Carolina, appears to have received a significant boon from the candidacy of Democrat Alvin Greene. Greene, you may recall, is the controversial unemployed veteran who unexpectedly won his primary to take on Republican Jim Demint and Clements in the general election. Now, some elements of his own party are taking matters into their own hands:
After the primary, South Carolina Democrats selected one candidate to challenge the incumbent senator, Jim DeMint, R-S.C.; but, in Aiken County, the local Democratic party seems to offer two choices – Greene or Green.
The Aiken County Democratic Party is giving “options” as to whom the party thinks should be elected to the U.S. Senate by listing primary winner Alvin M. Greene of Manning as a candidate and also listing a link to the campaign page of Green Party candidate Tom Clements on the group’s website, www.aikencountydemocrats.org.
“It’s not an endorsement – but we want people to know there are choices,” said Aiken Democratic Party Vice Chair Teresa Harper.
On the page, where other Democratic candidates’ websites are linked, Greene’s is not. The header incorrectly spells his name and, unlike other candidates, there is no picture.
Directly below is the text “(Consider this?)” with a hyperlink to Clements’ page. Instead of a link to Greene’s page, a link to a political news site with Greene’s name in the search bar is listed with the text “?? News.”
In no other race listed on the group’s website is a “choice” of candidate offered.
Asked if Greene was a viable candidate, Harper said, “You’ve seen Mr. Greene, do you think he’s qualified?”
The state Democratic Party as an organization “cannot support the nominee of another party”, according to chairwoman Carol Fowler in an interview with The Daily Caller. It appears that the county organizations of the Democratic Party in South Carolina have each followed their own response to the Greene campaign, many simply not listing a candidate on their websites in the race.
With all of this unease with their action figure-touting candidate, Tom Clements may be successfully drawing Democratic support. Political scientist Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia recently claimed that “it’s possible” for Clements to finish ahead of Greene in the Senate race. However, nobody is going out on a limb and claiming that Jim Demint will lose his seat in red South Carolina. Nevertheless, Clements points out in an interview with the Aiken Standard,
“I’m not surprised about this, I’ve heard that some legislators might endorse me,” said Clements, the possible beneficiary of the lack of local confidence. “The question is will Dems come away from the party.”
Longtime environmentalist for Friends of the Earth (FOTE), Clements is a newcomer to politics, and the Green Party is hoping to chip votes away from DeMint and Greene before November.
“I’ve been invited by a couple of Democratic groups in Columbia to talk, and I’ve been aware of Democrats in Aiken (looking at my candidacy),” Clements said. “I certainly think any endorsement or acknowledgment of my candidacy is a step forward.”