I ran a write-in campaign for the South Carolina State Assembly in 2016 because I live in one of the state’s most conservative and most Christian districts, but this district found itself with an odd Republican nominee. Jason Elliott had run for the nomination by characterizing himself as a ‘Jim Demint conservative’ but, after winning the Republican primary, was profiled in this article, headlined “SC GOP is changing, says state’s first openly gay legislator.”
There are many things that could be said about this circumstance, but the clear implication of
With my knowledge and understanding that people knew of my orientation, the election results tell me that — rightfully — we focused on issues that are relevant to the position for which I was running
is the idea that a large proportion of District 22 voters were aware of Jason Elliott’s orientation before the primary vote. We confirmed in the course of our general election write-in campaign that there were hundreds, and we believed there to be thousands, of voters who did not know about his personal life. We have not seen any evidence that a majority of District 22 primary voters knew about it before the primary.
The central question of the 2016 Brett Brocato write-in campaign was: “Should someone with progressive sexual values sneak, uncontested, into representing one of the most conservative districts in the state?” We chose not to let that happen without at least raising awareness. We were able to do more than that, but we were not victorious.
In the course of blogging, I hope to say a number of things that are both true and usually missing from our conversations in church and in wider culture. A few of these things will relate to the 2016 SC District 22 campaign, but many others will range more widely.