There are 35 U.S. Senate seats up in the November election, with multiple states having the potential to flip parties. South Carolina is increasingly being seen as a battle ground. Jaime Harrison (D), who previously served as chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party, is running against current South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham (R).

The two have been engaging in a series of debates, but most recently, the format changed after  Graham denied Democratic contender Harrison’s request to take a COVID-19 test beforehand. Instead, the candidates were each questioned separately for 30 minutes on a range of issues.

After being asked about the legislation he proposed to put an end to police brutality, Graham said he did believe in law enforcement reform and that although the officers behind the killing of George Floyd were “wrong and people should pay the price.” He then stated that “what is happening in America… is a war on the police itself.” Graham went on to deny that cops are systemically racist and that South Carolina is a racist state, insisting young black people would be safe as long as they are conservative and not liberal. “I am asking every African-American out there, look at my record,” he said, referencing his past support of historically black colleges and universities. “I care about everybody, if you are a young African-American, an immigrant, you can go anywhere in this state, you just need to be conservative not liberal.”

Harrison, on the other hand, said he believed in a register for law enforcement officers who have committed offenses and a national standard for use of force and demilitarizing police, but he did not back defunding the police. The current race is very tight, with both candidates at 48 percent each in a recent poll.


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