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In South Carolina's 5th Congressional District, 2 Candidates And #MeToo

Cole del Charco
Campaign signs across the street from New Mt. Olivet AME Zion Church near downtown Rock Hill, S.C.

It’s been a year since the #MeToo Movement took over headlines and occupied the thoughts of many across the nation. Along with the movement have come admissions and missteps from public figures, including candidates running in House Congressional District 5 in South Carolina. 

During the campaign, Democrat Archie Parnell admitted he beat his ex-wife decades ago and the Republican incumbent, Ralph Norman, made a dismissive joke about sexual harassment before a debate earlier this fall.  

This afternoon, some residents in downtown Rock Hill were asked who they planned to vote for and whether they felt comfortable supporting either candidate. 

“I mean we’re in this situation, right? We’re going to vote, you’re going to try and make a change, and not voting is not really an option,” Maia Wellborn, 25, said.

Wellborn, who grew up in Rock Hill, said she would probably vote for Parnell because she supports many issues Democrats do.

“I’m a counselor and I work with a lot of women who’ve suffered abuse at the hands of men, and I don’t think any man should belittle or invalidate that,” Robyn Nicholson, a registered Republican, said. “However, the bigger picture for me is what I feel like Ralph Norman stands for.”

“I do plan on voting for Archie Parnell, but it’s a sticky situation,” Mark Ray, 25, said. “There’s not a winning side there.”

Some expressed reservations supporting either candidate, even if they agreed with him on other issues. Others planned to vote with their party because the way policies affect them and their businesses were most important to them.