Democratic Candidates

Learn more about our current lineup of Democratic candidates for upcoming elections.
Interested in becoming a candidate? Email: chair@charlestondemocrats.com

 

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U.S. Congress, SC-1

JOE CUNNINGHAM

Local attorney and ocean engineer Joe Cunningham has formally announced his candidacy as a Democratic candidate for South Carolina's First Congressional District. Along with his wife, Amanda, he co-owns Soul Yoga + Wellness in West Ashley, where they live with their beloved pup, Teddy.


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U.S. Congress, SC-1

TOBY SMITH

Toby Smith born in Charleston, SC but grew up in Philadelphia, PA. She's a graduate of USC, Columbia, and has done graduate work at American University. Toby began her professional career at the Central Intelligence Agency in the winter of 1987, where she served domestically and abroad. Her slogan is "Our voice. Our vote. Our future."


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U.S. Congress, SC-6

REP. JIM CLYBURN

James E. (Jim) Clyburn was born and raised in Sumter, the eldest son of a fundamentalist minister and a cosmetologist. Jim ran for the Sixth Congressional seat in 1992 and became South Carolina’s first African American to serve in Congress in nearly 100 years. In 2007, he became the first South Carolinian to serve as House Majority Whip. With Democrats now in the minority in the House, Jim serves in the number three position for his party – Assistant Democratic Leader.  Being in the Leadership has enabled him to have a seat at the table when decisions are being made in Washington and make sure the needs of South Carolinians are considered.


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Governor

PHIL NOBLE

Phil Noble is a business and technology consultant from Charleston. Over the past twenty-five years, his company, Phil Noble and Associates, has worked in more than 40 countries around the world, serving clients as diverse as the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), Time Warner Inc. and the Bertelsmann Foundation.


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Governor

JAMES SMITH

James Smith is currently a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, a Major in the South Carolina Army National Guard, a small business owner, and a practicing attorney in Columbia, South Carolina.  His entire life has been dedicated to service to others in his community, state, and nation, including a 12-month combat tour in Afghanistan.


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Governor

MARGUERITE WILLIS

Marguerite has had an extraordinarily successful career in the law and business. Known as a practical problem solver, Marguerite has been a member of a major Columbia-based law firm where she’s litigated and negotiated numerous cases involving business clients. She’s also taken on major corporations and fought to ensure businesses operate on a fair playing field.


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ATTORNEY GENERAL

CONSTANCE ANASTOPOULO

Constance Anastopoulo is an experienced litigator who built on her courtroom successes to become a leading expert on insurance and ethics law.  As a tenured Professor of Law Anastopoulo teaches Torts, Ethics, and Insurance.  Voted “Best Professor” by the Charleston School of Law students, Anastopoulo’s commitment to a better South Carolina motivates her work with future lawyers and her work to improve ethics in politics in South Carolina.


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SECRETARY OF STATE

MELVIN WHITTENBURG

Major Melvin Whittenburg (US Army, retired) was born and raised in Columbia, SC. During his military tenure, Melvin had the privilege to serve our country proudly in a number of military and humanitarian relief operations. After retiring from the Army, Melvin used his leadership ability and business acumen during a successful career with ExxonMobil Corporation, where he also devoted his time to the advisory boards of four non-profit organizations and served as the Community Outreach Chairman of the Veterans Advocacy Support Team and Black Employee Success Team until his retirement in 2017.


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STATE TREASURER

ROSALYN GLENN

Rosalyn is the President and CEO of Glenn Destiny Consulting, LLC.  As an entrepreneur, she’s built her business assisting individuals, businesses, churches, and nonprofit organizations in developing financial strategies to ensure their longevity and sustainability.  She has more than 25 years of experience in the industry.


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S.C. HOUSE, DISTRICT 15

JA MOORE

The son of a cherished S.C. civil rights leader, JA Moore has spent his entire life associated with and involved in public service. “Growing up in rural South Carolina actually has prepared me for all of the things I have been involved in over the past decade. It grounded me in my values and respect for others.” JA currently serves as an Executive Committee member for the Democratic Party and as a professional chef specializing in modern-influenced soul food with over 15 years of experience.


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S.C. HOUSE, DISTRICT 99

JENNIFER GIBSON

Charleston entrepreneur Jennifer Gibson is a wife, mother, caregiver and small business owner. She grew up in Mount Pleasant and earned a degree in political science from the College of Charleston and currently runs two small businesses that she built from scratch. 


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S.C. HOUSE, DISTRICT 109

DAVID MACK

Representative David Mack was first elected to the S.C. Statehouse in 1996. He earned his B.S. from Howard University in 1975. Mack is the President of Sunrise Communications of Charleston. He is also a Radio Talk Show Host, Healthcare Consultant and Businessman.


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S.C. HOUSE, DISTRICT 110

BEN POGUE

Ben Pogue is a successful attorney with a private practice in Downtown Charleston. He is a resident of Mount Pleasant and has worked and lived in this community for more than 20 years. Ben and his wife, Nina, have three children who were all born in Mount Pleasant and graduated from Charleston County Public Schools.


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S.C. HOUSE, DISTRICT 111

REP. WENDELL GILLIARD

Rep. Gilliard is the President of WGG Consulting. He was educated at Devry School of Technology, and Labor Organizing School, University of Tennessee. Retired from Albright & Wilson Chemical Plant for 28 years as a chemical plant operator, he served as United Steel Workers Local Union President for 15 years and on Charleston City Council for 11 years.


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S.C. HOUSE, DISTRICT 112

JOE PRESTON

Joe is a husband, father, and former firefighter who will fight for our children’s education, competent and responsible development, and fight the culture of corruption in state government. He lives on the Isle of Palms with his wife, Katie Dyer-Preston and their two sons.


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S.C. HOUSE, DISTRICT 113

REP. MARVIN PENDARVIS 

Marvin grew up in the Charleston Farms neighborhood of North Charleston, South Carolina, in the heart of House District 113.  He is a product of the public schools in Charleston County, graduating at the top of his class at Garrett Academy of Technology in 2007. We are proud to support Marvin as he seeks re-election to SC-113.


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S.C. HOUSE, DISTRICT 114

DAN  JONES

Dan came to West Ashley 22 years ago to work in the growing film industry in South Carolina and became a filmmaker and technician in movies and television. Dan brings a unique and varied experience to the South Carolina legislature, one grounded in practical solutions to the problems we face and the opportunities we enjoy. As a parent, he will speak for those concerned about providing a solid education for their children.  As a home owner, he will work to improve infrastructure in the district and in the state..  As a lifelong lover of the outdoors, he will help protect and preserve our natural resources.


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S.C. HOUSE, DISTRICT 115

CAROL TEMPEL

Carol is the President of the SC Association of University Women. She has served as the Chair of the Constituent School Board on James Island for 6 years and owned her own business for 10. Previously, Carol served as a curriculum specialist in math, science and technology for Charleston County Schools and as the Principal of the Academic Magnet High School, one of the top schools in the nation.


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S.C. HOUSE, DISTRICT 116

REP. ROBERT BROWN

Representative Brown is running for re-election after serving 14 years representing District 116 which encompasses the western portion of Charleston County and the southeastern portion of Colleton County. He is a retired nuclear submarine electrical system inspector, a businessman, owner of RLB Development, LLC and a Vietnam veteran. He serves on the Sea Island Comprehensive Health Care Corporation board of directors, is a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., and has served as councilman, planning and zoning commissioner and chairman of the Economic Development Committee for the town of Hollywood.


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S.C. HOUSE, DISTRICT 117

KRYSTLE SIMMONS

As a mother of five and a volunteer teen mentor, Krystle Simmons is deeply passionate about her community and how the decisions made in Columbia are affecting the families in Charleston and Berkeley counties. For 10 years, Krystle has worked with the Boeing Company in North Charleston and is a proud member of Faith Assembly Church.


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S.C. HOUSE, DISTRICT 119

REP. LEON STAVRINAKIS

Leon has served in the General Assembly since 2007. Prior to that, he served as Chairman of Charleston County Council and as a local prosecutor. He has been voted Legislator of the Year by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Port of Charleston’s Maritime Association of South Carolina, while also maintaining a 95% lifetime pro-environment voting record and receiving repeated endorsements by the Conservation Voters of South Carolina.


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CHARLESTON COUNTY PROBATE JUDGE

STEPHANIE GANAWAY-PASLEY

Stephanie L.W. Ganaway-Pasley has served on the bench as a Summary Court Judge for over 12 years. She has a BS in Psychology, an MA in Counseling with a concentration in Mental Health and she is a PhD Psychology Doctoral Candidate. She is the Chief Operating Officer of Pasley and Associates, providing business, mediation services to private and public sectors; with over eight years of experience addressing Leadership skills, Customer Service, Mental Health, and Interpersonal Communication Skills.


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CHARLESTON COUNTY PROBATE JUDGE

KELSEY WILLEY

Kelsey lives downtown with her husband Roy Willey, a lawyer and small business owner, her energetic son Penn, and her Boykin Spaniel, Sullivan.  Kelsey is a probate lawyer, small business owner and founding partner of Willey Law Firm at 21 Broad Street, which has led her to practice before more than half of South Carolina’s 46 probate courts.


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CHARLESTON COUNTY REGISTER OF DEEDS

PATRICK BELL

A commercial real estate broker and investor for more than 20 years, Patrick Bell is the outgoing chairperson of the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors® Legislative Committee and is a current committee member. He also serves on the South Carolina Association of Realtors® Legislative Committee and Chairs their Affordable Housing Taskforce. In 2014, he was appointed to the Charleston County Planning Commission, where he chairs the Short Term Rental Committee and serves on the Affordable Housing Committee.  Always the community servant and industry advocate, Patrick is constantly focused on improving our community through responsible real estate sales, development, and renovation.


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CHARLESTON COUNTY REGISTER OF DEEDS

MICHAEL MILLER

A native of Kew Gardens, New York, Michael received his education in South Carolina graduating from Goose Creek High School in 1988. In 1997, he started giving is time to mentoring and volunteering in local Charleston County Schools. In 2001, he became an entrepreneur and opened Michael & Co. He is married to Cassandra McCrea of Kingstree, SC and two children. Michael lives in West of the Ashley. Through his non-profit organization, the Sam Williams Foundation, Michael has raised thousands of dollars over the years in his annual campaign to aid Charleston County’s most needy students.


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CHARLESTON COUNTY COUNCIL

DONNA NEWTON

I have lived in Charleston County most of my life but I realize that something was missing from my community. What was missing is that the people representing me did not know me. They did not take the time to visit my home and tell me who there are or why I should believe that my interest will be heard. I want to be that person to listen and then be your voice in County Council.


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CHARLESTON COUNTY COUNCIL

TEDDIE E. PRYOR, SR.

Teddie Pryor has served on County Council for 14 years, including 6 years as Council Chairman. He has worked in city government for many years, including serving as part of the mayor's Executive Department in North Charleston, as well as North Charleston's tourism coordinator. Prior to his work with the city, Mr. Pryor was a small business owner.


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CHARLESTON COUNTY COUNCIL

ANNA B. JOHNSON

The Honorable Anna B. Johnson was elected to serve on Charleston County Council, District #8, in November 2010.  As a council member, her goals include improving road and drainage, promoting economic development, preserving the charter of the Sea Islands and improving recreational opportunities.


Note that this page only features candidates who have filed with the board of elections as Democratic candidates.
If you have filed paperwork and have not been added, please email us: newsletter@charlestondemocrats.com