Anderson County Democratic HQ demolished for the third time | Palmetto politics

  Anderson County Democratic HQ demolished for the third time |  Palmetto politics

It marked the third such incident toward the group in less than a year.

The party is fundraising to install security cameras at their office and has filed a police report over the incident.

 “The current national political climate is filled with vitriol and polarizing rhetoric,” the Anderson County Democratic Party wrote in a statement posted to its Facebook page. “However, Anderson is better than this.”

Story Highlights

  • According to a Nov. 15 statement by the party, an unknown individual apparently threw a brick at the front window of the Anderson County Democratic Party headquarters at 121 Benson Street.

  • In the spring, the party reported “extremist flyers” opposing vaccines accompanied by “violent, threatening messages” were taped to the front window. In September, a handwritten note that included hate speech was delivered to the office through a mail slot on the front door.

Anderson County, which went for President Donald Trump by more than 40 points in the 2020 presidential election, is among the reddest counties in all of South Carolina. However, local party officials say their numbers have grown in recent years as the county’s youngest residents have gotten more involved in politics.

While the tone of politics has long been civil between the region’s liberals and conservatives, ACDP executive director and former statehouse candidate Mary Geren — an Anderson resident since 1998 — said the party’s growth has coincided with an increasingly hostile attitude toward their members, resulting in some reporting discomfort with attending party events in public.

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Get the latest political news from The Post and Courier in your inbox. “What’s changed the most is the ability — or lack thereof — to have discussions about policy without it turning to some sort of vitriol,” Geren said. “The political climate has gotten a lot more toxic, and it all started around these last few election cycles.”

Party officials said the brick-throwing incident took place on Election Day, Nov. 2. However, party officials said they waited several weeks to acknowledge the damage to their office publicly until they’d given the Anderson County Republican Party — and the South Carolina GOP — an opportunity to denounce the vandalism. That never happened, they said, despite numerous conversations between state and local Republican officials. “They kept kicking the can down the road,” Geren said. “We sat on the story for two weeks. We wanted to give them an opportunity to denounce the violent vandalism. And they didn’t.”

The South Carolina Republican Party declined to comment. However, officials with the party said they wrote in an email they had actually expressed support for releasing a statement denouncing the vandalism similar to those they had in the past, citing their denunciation of a similar vandalism incident at the Democratic Party Headquarters in Charleston back in January. Local Democratic officials, however, said they were under the impression the Anderson County GOP would agree to a statement if South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Drew McKissick signed onto it.

“It’s just like those who refuse to condemn the people who tried to overturn our democracy on the 6th of January,” Robertson said. “Republicans in this state used to have morals, they used to have values, and they used to have character. And the simple fact that no one would stand up from the Anderson County Republican Party, the Anderson County delegation, or Drew McKissick indicates they don’t have morals, they don’t have values, they don’t have character, and that they simply believe violence is the answer. And that’s an unfortunate state.” Contact Nick Reynolds at 843-834-4267. Follow him on Twitter @IAmNickReynolds.

South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Trav Robertson Jr. said the lack of any meaningful statement from the GOP said a lot about them “not just as Republicans, but as human beings.”