MARION, S.C. – Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris made a campaign visit in Marion for a meet and greet Monday.
Harris appeared before a crowd of more than 60 people, making her way through City Food & Spirits on 1106 E. Godbolt St., shaking hands, speaking with voters and officials. She made the morning visit to the breakfast and lunch buffet restaurant ahead of a town hall at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
Marion County Branch NAACP President Rev. Marvin Hemingway said the event was sponsored by the organization and Marion County Democratic Party. He said it was exciting to see the national media following the candidate and her willingness to visit rural areas.
“I thank her for gracing Marion County with her presence in a small town,” Hemingway said. “It let us know that she is not just about going to the big cities but going to small towns and meeting with everyone. It shows that every citizen is somebody, and I think that it’s honorable for someone of that magnitude to visit.”
Hemingway said he wanted the visit to be something Marion County should be proud of.
“We’re meeting a candidate that could be the next President of the United States,” he said. “I think Marion County should be proud for having her here in this community.”
City Food & Spirits owner Joseph Abram III called it a privilege to host Harris. His wife, Jean Abram, called it an exciting experience to meet her.
“We had President Barack Obama here some years ago, and now we got another possible President coming through, and that’s a pleasure,” he said.
Joseph Abram II said he was elated.
“We’re just looking over the field and glad to be afforded this historic day,” he said. His wife, Joann, said she couldn’t wait to see Harris.
Marion County delegates S.C. Sen. Kent Williams and S.C. Rep. Lucas Atkinson said they were happy to show their support.
“This is pretty historic in my opinion when you have a Democratic presidential candidate coming to rural Marion County,” Williams said. “It speaks volumes to me that you care about rural America and you want to hear the issues and concerns. It’s important to us, because we pay attention to those who come and equal attention to those who don’t come.”
Williams said it means something to receive those visits.
“It means a lot for her to come to Marion County,” Atkinson said. “I think it makes a big impact, and I’m glad to see Sen. Harris’ campaign focus on small-town America.”
Harris spent the past two days in the Pee Dee, visiting Florence and Hartsville on Sunday. She started the day at Cumberland United Methodist Church in Florence for service then participated in a meet-and-greet event at Hartsville’s Jerusalem Baptist Church. She finished the day with a town hall event at Florence’s New Ebenezer Baptist Church's Strive Hard Educational, Recreational and Enrichment Center.
Harris has been on the campaign trail since January, making several stops in the state already ahead of the South Carolina Democratic Primary, which is scheduled for Feb. 29, 2020.
Harris’s experience includes being the second black female senator, the first female district attorney in San Francisco’s history and the first black female attorney general of California.
Born in Oakland, California, to a Tamil Indian mother and a Jamaican father, she is a graduate of Howard University and the University of California’s Hastings School of Law.