Democratic candidates vying to fill Pinckney's seat take part in debate

Published: Aug. 19, 2015 at 9:47 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 20, 2015 at 3:20 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Democratic candidates vying to fill the senate seat of the late Clementa Pinckney are taking part in a debate.

The public debate for happened at the International Longshoreman Association and lasted about an hour.

Ten of the 11 democratic candidates for Senate District 45 were present at the debate.

Organizers focused the debate on three main topics: education, healthcare and education. However, moderators did throw in some curve ball questions including whether the public should have full access to police body camera video.

The body camera bill the last bill that Sen. Pinckney, a Democrat, sponsored.

Pinckney held his senate position for 15 years before he was killed two months ago during the Emanuel AME massacre, with eight other parishioners.

The South Carolina Democratic Party hosted the event. Party representative Diane May says this is an especially important seat because of all the diverse areas that it serves.

The District 45 seats serves Allendale, Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties.

Democratic candidates include: 
Korey Williams, lawyer from Hampton County.
John Edward Washington, community advocate from Colleton County.
Chauncey N. Barnwell, lawyer from Jasper County.
Richmond Truesdale, pastor from Charleston County.
Margie Bright-Matthews, lawyer from Colleton County.
William Bowman Jr., small business owner and school board member from Colleton County.
Sheree Darien, commissioner at Technical College of the Lowcountry, from Jasper County.
Kent F. Fletcher, business executive from Beaufort County
Libbie Henry Green, community advocate from Hampton County
Kenneth F. Hodges, former state representative and pastor, from Colleton County
R. Keith Horton (who was not present at the debate), real estate agent from Jasper County.

There are also two republican candidates running for the District 45 seat. They are Leilani Bessinger and Alberto Fernandez.

Primaries will be Sept. 1. The special election is scheduled for Oct. 20.

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