Presidential hopefuls, community leaders among speakers at Blue Jamboree

The Charleston County Democratic Party gathered Saturday for the annual Blue Jamboree Rally in downtown Charleston.
Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 6:27 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2023 at 11:30 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County Democratic Party gathered Saturday for the annual Blue Jamboree Rally in downtown Charleston, hosting dozens in the form of presidential candidates, congresspeople and community members and leaders.

The event at American Theater signifies a kickoff to the upcoming election year.

“Generational change, walking us to a bright future. Getting out of the shadows of a very difficult past for so many,” Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Congressman Dean Phillips says.

Phillips, who announced his campaign against incumbent Joe Biden in October, was one of several community leaders who aim to be on the Democratic ballots in 2024.

Attendees had the opportunity to hear from and speak with each of them about what comes next for Americans.

“We have an extraordinary group of democrats and some extraordinary young republicans. I want to see rise and start working together in a way my generation knows how to do,” Phillips says.

Other speakers included U.S. Congressman Jim Clyburn, South Carolina Senators Margie Bright Matthews and Deon Tedder, South Carolina State Representatives Spencer Wetmore and JA Moore and SC-01 Congressional candidates Mac Deford and Michael Moore.

Topics of discussion included affordability, immigration policy, safety and security along borders, healthcare, inflation, social justice and climate change.

“Why do we keep focusing on a battle we have lost, and pay no attention to the battles we are winning?” Clyburn says.

On the local level, Charleston Mayoral runoff candidate John Tecklenburg, Charleston County Auditor Peter Tecklenburg and former mayor Steve Benjamin.

Each shed light on concerns for development, rapid transit, flooding and more.

“We got stuff to work on, yeah. Like anywhere in America, the world, we’ve always have things to work on to make Charleston even better. But we have a beautiful city, so much to be thankful for,” John Tecklenburg says.

The party says they hope this event built momentum for members of the Lowcountry party prior to the statewide First in the Nation Democratic Presidential Primary on February 3rd, 2024.

“If we don’t repair, stop this nonsense, recognize humanity in each other. Celebrate political differences, our colors, religions, how we eat, how we pray, how we think, where we live, then we’re in trouble. That’s not something a president can do. That’s not something a congress or state house can do. That’s something we all make a choice about,” Phillips says.

We reached out to the South Carolina Republican Party for a statement ahead of the event and upcoming election year.

The SCGOP did not provide a response.