Friday, June 19, 2020

Journal Entry #53 - South Carolina State Senate District 32 Campaign Moments

Name: Manley M Collins
Social Security Number: 5 7 9 - * * - 6 5 4 1
Date of Birth: 06/21
Place of Birth: Washington, District of Columbia
Country of Birth: United States of America
Date: June 21, 2020

TOPIC: South Carolina State Senate District 32 Campaign Moments

DEPARTMENT: United States Department of Labor
DEPARTMENT: United States Department of Health and Human Services
DEPARTMENT: Centers for Disease Control
DEPARTMENT: South Carolina / Berkeley County Election Commission
DEPARTMENT: South Carolina State Ethics Commission

The running-for-office process started interesting during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, which was new to the United States.  The coronavirus was born by the intersection of the Middle Eastern Respiratory System (MERS) virus (humans) and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus (animals) virus. The initial discovery came from China, then the virus traveled through the world.

When offices started closing down, election commission had to stay open due to state law standards.  I did not think about running for South Carolina State Senate Office District 32 until it dawned on me to see what South Carolina issues or concerns were.  I wanted to see how South Carolina election process go before running for Governor of South Carolina.  I filed for South Carolina State Senate Office District 32 and made a $485 dollar cashier's check to the Democratic Party.  My main issue and somewhat traumatic was to ensure I was on the ballot.  After doing Washington, DC two-year campaigning for Mayor and not on the ballot, the situation left a major sting on ensuring I am on ballot to run.

Of course, I was not personally spending any of my monies or go into debt for the SC State Senate District 32 position.  I traveled using my 2018 Honda Metropolitan Scooter and a Megaphone.  I ran the entire campaign trail before the severity of stay-at-home orders for Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.  I had plenty of snacks and candy for the voters and voters' children of the communities.

With South Carolina State Ethics Commission, J.J.Gentry was on top of those reminders to file appropriate reports.  I filed all reports before the deadline.  After Washington, DC filing reports, I tried to trust other professionals to do, but unfortunately, the trust was broken and I am fined.  DC Office of Campaign Finance did make it known publicly.  With South Carolina State Ethics Commission, I had to file a Statement of Economic Interests, general campaign finance reports, I have filed my final report, and sent them my banking statements.  All of my reports were zero ($0) contributions and zero ($0) expenditures.

The initial campaign kickoff started in March 2020 through the following communities traveling main highways: Eadytown, Pineville, Russellville, St. Stephen, Alvin, Jamestown, Bethera, Huger, Cordesville, and Moncks Corner for Berkeley County; up Highway 52 to Greeleyville, then Salters (Williamsburg County); Andrews (Georgetown County); traveled Thurgood Marshall Highway to Kingstree stopping through Bloomingdale, Kellehan Crossroads (Williamsburg County); Nesmith (Williamsburg County); to Rhems and Outland (Georgetown County); then Highway 261 to Hemingway, Stuckey, Indiantown, Cades (scooter and I traveled in a deep ditch full of mud and water), Hebron (Williamsburg County); then Morris Rd to Lake City (Florence County), onward to Johnsonville (Florence County).  I saw all the schools - Cross High School - played in sports and battle in football halftime marching band shows.  I could not find Cainhoy because it seemed too far off the campaign trail.  Onward to Georgetown, Plantersville, Yauhannah (Georgetown County), up Highway 701 to Toddville (Horry County); South Conway (Horry County); second town named Jamestown (Horry County); then Highway 501 to Myrtle Beach down Ocean Boulevard (Horry County) through Surfside Beach back to Georgetown, I saw a glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean while everything was taped off and closed due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Next came the surveys and questionnaires.  It was plenty of gun rights and gun control surveys that came in first.  Then, other issues were women rights, economic justice, drilling off the Atlantic Ocean, property rights, LGBTQ+, education salaries, education - public vs charter vs private schools, natural resources conversation, clean energy, voter rights, business regulations for contributions to political candidates, congressional term limits, and the handling of a future pandemic.

On the campaign trail, it was some funny moments when another candidate from Georgetown County (a pastor) and I kept running into each other in Berkeley and Georgetown counties.  The incumbent from Williamsburg County did a great job on yard sign output.  It was funny when I saw Williamsburg County split in two with the incumbent campaigned the South and the other Williamsburg County candidate campaigned in the North.

Some political action committees (PAC)s and democratic groups requested additional discussion via videoconference.  The use of Zoom, Google Meet, and Facebook Live was very useful.  Samsung and T-Mobile won this phone usage battle hands down.  I never thought you could do so much with a cellphone/smartphone.

Campaign results posted on June 9, 2020.  I garnered 237 votes while on the ballot and as a newbie to South Carolina political scene.  I cannot thank my supporters enough.  I am very grateful for the results that at least an African-American/Black male won representing a diverse community of voters and non-voters.

I did correct FaceBook and created my own South Carolina State Senate District 32 page.

I did not campaign via signs, virtual materials, or physical materials because there was no contributions to my campaign and I was not going into debt for $10K plus per diem position.  Most of my campaigning was done via online, radio interviews, newspaper articles, etc.

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