My political aspirations date back to the early 1990s when my wife agreed it was okay for me to explore a run for the South Carolina House. That aspiration was short-lived when my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, and we chose to prioritize our family. Some twenty years later, after raising and educating three children, I decided to venture back into the political arena. Advanced in age now, but still aware of the political landscape, I pondered what to run for and how to introduce myself to the SCDP.
In 2014, I satisfied all the requirements to run for the US House of Representatives except conducting a polling sample to determine if I possessed the name recognition suited for that chosen office. I theorized having fourteen years of experience in the insurance-finance business and being an insurance agency owner with policyholders throughout the 3rd district, I satisfied the polling recognition and filed for the US House of Representatives, SC 3rd District.
I was never delusional about what was necessary to defeat an incumbent Republican and never subscribed to the idea of the incumbent throwing himself on his sword as a victory strategy. From the very start, I prepared myself for a long, grueling adventure to unseat the Republican incumbent in South Carolina’s 3rd District. My long-term strategy included several prongs: reduce the Republican advantage from deep red to medium red, increase my brand recognition, and convince the Democratic leadership that I possess the qualities needed to turn the SC-03 blue.
While I was unsuccessful in my 2014 and 2018 primary bids, I did not follow some supporters and volunteers’ cries of foul play, as it applied to primary contest rules. I do, in hindsight, question if my losses impeded my goal to reach medium red advantage in our district.
I’ve not always voted straight Democrat over my voting history and I do not apologize for that. Still, our political process has never been divisive as now. I am a staunch moderate Democrat with an affection for progressive ideas. The supporters and volunteers throughout the district who are responsible for our campaign achievements agree we must increase voter turnout among young voters and voters of color as another prong to help complete the circle to victory. Together, we have the vote count, and it is abundantly clear that we should encourage each other to vote and support Democratic ideas in the 3rd District to change leadership and the political discourse of our state and nation.
It’s time to elect a Democrat in South Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District. It’s time to elect Hosea Cleveland, and it’s time for Jeff to GO!!!
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