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Meet the candidates for SC 1st District Congressional Race

Meet the Republican and Democratic candidates for SC 1st District Congressional Race.

U.S. House District 1 Republican:

Mark Sanford (Inc.)

Mark Sanford represents the 1st District of South Carolina, and was sworn into the 113th Congress after winning a special election in May 2013. Previously, he held the same post from 1995 to 2001. Sanford also served as Governor of South Carolina from 2003 - 2011.

As governor, he accomplished cutting the marginal income tax rate, first of its kind tort reform, workers' compensation reform and bringing about the first statewide charter school district in the nation.

In June 2009, Sanford made national headlines after an unexplained disappearance. He publicly revealed that he had engaged in an extramarital affair. This led to censure by the South Carolina General Assembly and his resignation as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

Two pieces of legislation he's sponsoring are: H.R. 5572-- One Percent Spending Reduction Act of 2018 and H.R. 5290-- Federal Employee Bonus Disclosure Act.

Issues that show up on his agenda include debt and spending; jobs and the economy; healthcare reform; national defense; life and liberty and quality of life.

Sanford attended Furman University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Business. He later received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business. He has four sons, Marshall, Landon, Bolton, and Blake and he lives in Mount Pleasant.



Katie Arrington

Arrington is from Summerville, S.C. She was most recently elected to South Carolina State House Representative District 94. Arrington currently serves as Vice President Operations, Military & Government, Dispersive Technologies Inc., a cyber software solutions provider, where she is responsible for leading all work with Defense Healthcare Agency, U.S. Army, USMC and Navy.

She says she is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, the right to life, and a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.

Her husband is a successful small business owner, and her campaign page describes her as a wife, mother and woman of faith who strongly supports pro-life values and "will unapologetically protect the sanctity of life."

Arrington claims she wants to fight to keep local jobs and continue growing South Carolina's economy.  Her key issues include improving transportation and empowering parents by supports local decisions in education.


Dimitri Cherny

Dimitri Cherny is described as the American Radical candidate-- "Not a Republican. Not a Democrat. Just an American."

This isn't his first run for office. Cherny also ran for Congress as an independent in 2014 and as a Democrat in 2016.

In the summer of 2016, Cherny biked and paddled 1,000 miles in 80 days all over the Lowcountry asking hundreds of people what one or two things could the federal government do to make their lives better. His key issues are healthcare costs, equal education, not allowing the privatization of social security and Veterans benefits.

Cherny's campaign page describes him as a 'champion for the people.' He had a long career in the high-tech industry but lost everything during the recession and ended up homeless. He then found work as a long distance truck driver. He's also one of the founding members of Black Lives Matter Charleston.

After the Emanuel AME murders, he spearheaded an effort to remove the flag from the South Carolina Statehouse and helped to get more than a million signatures. He also helped form 'Gun Sense S.C.'

He works to promote equal educational opportunities, encourages art for social justice, assists in the movement to expand the public transit system in Charleston, stands up for the LGBTQ community, participates in the movement to prevent offshore drilling and is passionate about helping the homeless.


U.S. House District 1 Democrat:

Joe Cunningham

Cunningham practices law in Charleston.  He is active with the Charleston Lawyers Club, Charleston County Bar Association, American Bar Association and South Carolina Young Lawyers Division.  He and his wife also co-own a yoga studio.

Cunningham currently practices construction law, representing plaintiffs and defendants.  He also spent time as an ocean engineer and lived in South America to learn Spanish.

Cunningham plans to work on healthcare, overcrowded prisons, getting big money out of politics, creating jobs and gun safety legislation.

He graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2005.  He graduated from law school at Salmon P. Chase College of Law in 2014.


Toby Smith

Toby Smith was born in Charleston, but grew up in Philadelphia.  She is in her 12th year as an associate minister at Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church.  She also spent time working at the CIA, as well as time in the radio industry.

In 2015, Smith became the first African American woman to run for mayor of Charleston.  After that, she joined the Advisory Board of Jenkins Institute.

She has plans to tackle education, including universal Pre-K and school safety.  Smith also wants to create citizenship pathways for law-abiding citizens and continue the DACA program.  Smith has plans to create new gun legislation, work on programs for veterans and working to ensure that "we can all have access to the American Dream."

Smith is a graduate of USC in Columbia and did some graduate work at American University.


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