Democratic super PAC confirms it will run in SC’s 1st congressional district race | Palmetto Politics

A Democratic political action committee that helped wrest South Carolina’s 1st congressional district from Republican control in 2018 plans to be a big player here again — a signal that Democrats may see the seat as winnable, despite the fact that their party faces dismal political odds ahead of the halfway mark.

The group, 314 Action, supports candidates with scientific and medical backgrounds in political races across the country. In 2018 and 2020, the Washington, D.C.-based super PAC emerged as a major player in the Coastal District race where it lined up behind Democrat Joe Cunningham in his pair of U.S. House bids.

In an interview with The Post and Courier, the president of 314 Action confirmed that the political group will not only support Democrat Annie Andrews in her candidacy, but is preparing to invest in the race to help her win. november.

“The race is still on, but what I can say is that we’re very observant,” said Shaughnessy Naughton, chemist and president of 314 Action. “We have shown that we are ready to invest the necessary resources.”

In 2018, the group gobbled up $523,467 on ads highlighting the issue of offshore drilling here. In 2020, he returned to the start of the cycle with ads about climate change and ended up spending over $1 million during the pandemic-era political contest that relied heavily on television and digital messaging to reach the electors.

One of its digital ads in 2020 angered then-candidate Nancy Mace, who sent a cease-and-desist letter to Facebook demanding it be taken down.

The spot, which called its post a “health alert,” began airing days after Mace tested positive for COVID-19 in the summer of 2020.

When asked if the group plans to make another six-figure investment — or more — in the 1st District contest this year, Naughton confirmed “It’s on the table.”

Andrews told The Post and Courier in a statement that she was proud to be endorsed by the national group.

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“They were a vital part of the coalition that won that seat in 2018 and I’m thrilled to join them in making history again in 2022,” Andrews said. “As a pediatrician, I know that the decisions made in Washington every day can mean the difference between life and death. Whether it’s the rising cost of health care and prescription drugs, the gun violence or the devastating effects of climate change, the Lowcountry needs an independent voice that will ignore politics and deliver results.”

Rather than focusing on offshore drilling, climate change or a public health emergency, Naughton said 314 Action may seek to advocate for another issue this time: abortion.

Naughton said polls reviewed by his organization show Democrats seeing an 8-point rise on the wildcard ballot after a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion suggested the High Court is preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that secured a woman’s constitution. right to an abortion.

This could be important in the 1st District which has seen its last two elections decided by less than 2 points, but that was before the district map was redrawn this year after the census redistribution.

Mace declared winner of 1st District race;  Democratic Representative Joe Cunningham does not back down

Although 314 Action isn’t a major abortion rights group like NARAL Pro-Choice America and Emily’s List, Naughton said the issue is “well in our wheelhouse.”

“Alongside a lot of this anti-abortion legislation, there really is anti-science rhetoric. Even speaking of fetal heartbeats, they are not fetal heartbeats. They are heart cells,” Naughton said. “Many of the invasive procedures needed to access abortion services are medically unnecessary, and the interference between doctor-patient communication, and sometimes the outright misinformation they are required to tell people seeking these services, is something we do care about.”

During a GOP primary debate on May 23, Mace, now incumbent in the GOP 1st District, did not answer the question when asked what limitations, if any, she would support on abortion. , but previously said she would support exceptions for rape, incest and life cases. from the mother. Republican challenger Katie Arrington said she was “100% pro-life, no exceptions,” and also suggested the state’s fetal heart rate bill might not go “far enough.”

Andrews said she’s ready to make abortion an issue on the campaign trail, regardless of which candidate wins the Republican nomination.

“As the only pro-choice candidate in the 1st Congressional District race, I look forward to telling voters about the stark contrast between the candidates on this issue,” she said. “Nancy Mace and Katie Arrington’s hardline stances on women’s reproductive rights are better left to an episode of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ than the Lowcountry in 2022.”

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