After nearly 48 hours as the only declared Democrat running in South Carolina’s Fifth Congressional District, Archie Parnell will have competition in the form of Alexis Frank, who declared her candidacy for the special election today. Here’s the statement from South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison:
“I commend Alexis Frank for jumping into this race. Democrats in the 5th District are looking forward to a substantive primary campaign to hear how all the candidates would work to improve people’s lives. With Donald Trump and his rubber-stamp Republican Congress threatening to cause great harm to millions of Americans, the stakes could not be higher. Whoever 5th District Democratic primary voters choose, I am confident that Democrats will be unified behind a nominee with an agenda to bring South Carolinians together and expand opportunity for all.”
This means Parnell’s hope of winning the nomination by default as the only Democrat in the race is over. He and Frank will have to compete for the party’s nomination in the primary, scheduled for May 2. Candidates from both parties still have until Monday, March 13 to file the papers to get in the race. If one or more Democrats decide to do so, and neither Parnell nor Frank are able to get a majority of the vote on May 2, there is a runoff scheduled for May 16 if necessary.
UPDATE: I just spoke with Frankie Norstad, who helped launch Alexis Frank’s campaign. The paperwork was filed this afternoon, and her staffing, website, social media, campaign fundraising, etc. should be up and ready to go by Monday.
Some biographical information about the candidate, all from Norstad:
- Alexis Frank is a 26-year-old mother of two children married to a U.S. Marine currently based in North Carolina.
- She was born in Hartsville, S.C. and is a graduate of Rock Hill High School, where her mother is still a teacher. Her brother teaches at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, and is openly gay.
- She enlisted in the Army Reserve at 17, and worked as an Army paralegal for six years.
- She is two weeks away from graduating with a degree in Project Management.
- This is her first run for elected office.
- Frank first thought about running for the seat a little more than two weeks ago, after she saw an online video produced by Norstad looking for candidates to run in the upcoming special elections. She made the decision to run this morning.
- Norstad: “This girl is hope and passion bottled up and delivered.”