Running for political office has to be one of the hardest journeys an individual can face. It takes time, energy, lots of resources, a lot of contacts, and a committed family. Running for the highest offices in the State of South Carolina is the pinnacle of challenges for a democrat in a traditionally republican state.

James Smith and Mandy Powers Norrell were ready to face that challenge charged with core values they believed were inside the heart of their fellow South Carolinians. Their statewide, grassroots approach took them city to city, meeting so many people, with so many passions yet fell short during the late hours of the 2018 November election night.

I followed their campaign closely. My political background came as journalists covering Senator John McCain’s first presidential run in 2000, Senator John Edwards presidential run in 2004, and numerous Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

James Smith and Mandy Powers Norrell had the drive, spirit, and commitment to serving the highest offices in the state. I wanted to connect with them after the dust cleared from the campaign and reflect. They have amazing stories that intersect so many lives and so many strong initiatives they believe will push the State of South Carolina forward.

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