Beto O’Rourke talks to Gullah Geechee community in Beaufort

Local News

BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) – He wants the nation’s vote. On Thursday, he made a stop in the Lowcountry. 

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke was in Beaufort to talk to members of the Gullah Geechee Nation. 

The visit started with a tour of the historic Tabernacle Baptist Church and a longer stop at the grave of Robert Smalls. Reverend Kenneth Hodges and Queen Quet, the head of Gullah Geechee Nation, led the tour.

“It’s not a photo opportunity, [O’Rourke] really want to sit down and learn what [our] concerns are. And we appreciate it,” said Queen Quet. 

That’s why the talk was closed to the public and small. O’Rourke took notes while people asked about healthcare and Georgia’s recent Governor’s election. 

” I just had the chance last week to sit down with Stacey Abrams. She is the rightful governor of the State of Georgia, but hundreds of thousands of people were purged from the voter rolls by the same secretary of state who ran against her,” he said. 

Governor Kemp’s campaign has denied those accusations.

Right now, rising flood waters and developers put Gullah Geechee lands at risk. O’Rourke says they are important to him. 

News 3 asked Queen Quat if she believes that. 

“He’s a candidate, right? So all the candidates want to do these things. The thing about being a candidate is how much support will you have in what you need to do,” she said. 

In two weeks, Beto O’Rourke will debate some other democratic frontrunners. News 3 asked him about that. He says his preparations start at places like Beaufort by listening to people and what they want.

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