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Candidates for SC Congressional District 6

  • Wednesday, April 2, 2014

From left to right: Leon Winn, Anthony Culler, James E. Clyburn

In 2014, South Carolina will have a race for Congressional 6th District. This is a very large district and consists of all of Bamberg, Clarendon, Colleton, Marion and Williamsburg counties and parts of Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Lee, Orangeburg, Richland and Sumter counties. Three candidates have filed for the position.

Leon Winn

Candidate for US Congress District 6 in South Carolina Leon Winn is cut from a different cloth. Winn is from a small town in Georgia but lives in the beautiful Lakewood community in Sumter. He is a pastor at Rock Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Manning. He believes in strong Christian morals and wants to see those in the United States Congress build our country back to a strong foundation. Winn believes this country can be strong again once we get rid of those holding us back and holding us down to the old ways. Education is the key to the success.

As a nation, Winn states, "Jobs are coming to South Carolina. We need more jobs in the 6th District. To get more jobs in the 6th District, we need better training. One thing that I'm going to push for is to take the technical skills as far as back to the sixth grade in the middle school. Every little boy in every little girl has an innate ability; they have a talent. They had a God-given gift. It's our job as educators, as mentors, to tap into what direction they are going into. Then to compare it to what direction we are pushing them in. What I have learned in parts of life is, if you let a person do a job that they are suitable for or is their desire for; they will be good at it. Just like an old cliche if a person loves it, it will not be a job; it will become a pleasure." 

Republicans, for the most part, are against federal entitlements. Winn's view on entitlements is, "As a nation we are depending too much on entitlements. The government does not owe us our livelihood. The government should protect the nation. Part of our government is a law-enforcement, part educational, and part highways and upkeep of the country. Individuals should not rely on the government for their livelihood. When you rely on the government for your livelihood, they can cut it off. If a person is always given something at any given time it can be taken away and you have nothing to stand on. Every tub needs stand on its own bottom; every chair needs to stand on its own legs. So every person needs to work for their own livelihood."
Winn told the story of his childhood. "When I was 10 or 11 years old, I was in Trade Hill, Georgia. My daddy was a man that looked out for other people and their children. We were in Mr. John Lambert's store. I was the youngest of my three brothers at the time. We had just cut a large yard with push lawnmowers and we were not going to get anything from that. My brother said to me, `Leon you ask Daddy to buy us something to eat. He will cuss you out less: you're going to get cussed but it will be less with you.' I did and he cursed us out and he didn't buy anything. One of the neighboring children came out and they told my daddy they needed to buy something. My daddy bought each of them something. The woman at the store came out; she gave each of us sweet roll, an RC Cola, and some bologna sausage. My daddy wanted to pay her for it. She told him no she wanted to give it to us because these boys earned it. I promised myself that day I would never treat my children the way my father treated us. Let's take my experience. Our country has become just like my father. We are taking care of every other nation and our own children are suffering. We need to become the father of this nation. That's what we need to get back to." 
Winn has a plan to change Congress. "Our nation is squandering money. It is simple to stop: to change the people we have in Congress. You want to change the direction you're going change the people you have leading it. There's no need to make things so complicated. It is good to use the simple things just to make it right. Take care home first. We are our brothers' keepers but don't let your home suffer to help them. Paul said `if they don't work, don't feed them.' If you don't work, you have made the decision not to eat. We can't legislate morality and we can't make people work. The results we are having are from the actions that you are letting them make."
Having integrity is not something that is usually associated with many politicians. Among his many accomplishments, Pastor Winn is an Air Force veteran, a former City of Columbia police officer, and a successful small business entrepreneur. He has learned many lessons in his life of accomplishments but throughout it all, he has held his head high with integrity. "We were the poorest in our community. We didn't know we were until we grew up and seen it. I haven't had a toy since I was four. The same year when I got nothing for Christmas, I went to school. The teacher asked everyone what you got for Christmas. I was last. When she got to me, I lied that we got this and we got that. My next-door neighbor Junior Grant told everybody in the bathroom, `Leon and them ain't got nothing for Christmas.' So I learned right and then not to lie because it catches up to you. I learned that in the first grade." Life has a strange way of teaching this. "Life brings us a test; our lesson is what you learned from your test."
As a Christian Winn believes we need to get back to our fundamentals. He is pro-life and against destroying the United States and the principles of Christian values American was founded. "It is an atrocity to cut the military. It is futile to hand our enemies all the money and resources they need and the tools they need to fight against us and to cut our military. It is senseless. "
Leon Winn is dedicated to fight for military, for better education for kids, and a strong community to build a strong nation. "For over twenty-two years, the 6th Congressional District has struggled under poor leadership and poor representation. This is no longer a party issue. This election is about the future and the prosperity of the Sixth District. In South Carolina, the 6th Congressional District consistently ranks at the bottom in terms of education and job production. I aim to fix that. God-willing, we can turn the Corridor of Shame into the Corridor of Pride."

Winn told the story of his childhood. "When I was 10 or 11 years old, I was in Trade Hill, Georgia. My daddy was a man that looked out for other people and their children. We were in Mr. John Lambert's store. I was the youngest of my three brothers at the time. We had just cut a large yard with push lawnmowers and we were not going to get anything from that. My brother said to me, `Leon you ask Daddy to buy us something to eat. He will cuss you out less: you're going to get cussed but it will be less with you.' I did and he cursed us out and he didn't buy anything. One of the neighboring children came out and they told my daddy they needed to buy something. My daddy bought each of them something. The woman at the store came out; she gave each of us sweet roll, an RC Cola, and some bologna sausage. My daddy wanted to pay her for it. She told him no she wanted to give it to us because these boys earned it. I promised myself that day I would never treat my children the way my father treated us. Let's take my experience. Our country has become just like my father. We are taking care of every other nation and our own children are suffering. We need to become the father of this nation. That's what we need to get back to." 

Winn has a plan to change Congress. "Our nation is squandering money. It is simple to stop: to change the people we have in Congress. You want to change the direction you're going change the people you have leading it. There's no need to make things so complicated. It is good to use the simple things just to make it right. Take care home first. We are our brothers' keepers but don't let your home suffer to help them. Paul said `if they don't work, don't feed them.' If you don't work, you have made the decision not to eat. We can't legislate morality and we can't make people work. The results we are having are from the actions that you are letting them make."

Having integrity is not something that is usually associated with many politicians. Among his many accomplishments, Pastor Winn is an Air Force veteran, a former City of Columbia police officer, and a successful small business entrepreneur. He has learned many lessons in his life of accomplishments but throughout it all, he has held his head high with integrity. "We were the poorest in our community. We didn't know we were until we grew up and seen it. I haven't had a toy since I was four. The same year when I got nothing for Christmas, I went to school. The teacher asked everyone what you got for Christmas. I was last. When she got to me, I lied that we got this and we got that. My next-door neighbor Junior Grant told everybody in the bathroom, `Leon and them ain't got nothing for Christmas.' So I learned right and then not to lie because it catches up to you. I learned that in the first grade." Life has a strange way of teaching this. "Life brings us a test; our lesson is what you learned from your test."

As a Christian Winn believes we need to get back to our fundamentals. He is pro-life and against destroying the United States and the principles of Christian values American was founded. "It is an atrocity to cut the military. It is futile to hand our enemies all the money and resources they need and the tools they need to fight against us and to cut our military. It is senseless. "

Leon Winn is dedicated to fight for military, for better education for kids, and a strong community to build a strong nation. "For over twenty-two years, the 6th Congressional District has struggled under poor leadership and poor representation. This is no longer a party issue. This election is about the future and the prosperity of the Sixth District. In South Carolina, the 6th Congressional District consistently ranks at the bottom in terms of education and job production. I aim to fix that. God-willing, we can turn the Corridor of Shame into the Corridor of Pride."

Candidate Anthony Culler

Anthony Culler is a different type of candidate. Originally from Spartanburg, he moved to Texas with his wife, and then moved back to South Carolina where they have homeschooled their four daughters. His family travels with him throughout the district campaigning and expressing his values. His girls get to see the power government has and the way state and local politicians can change things. Culler is a Christian and a Republican but has some ideas that are different from mainstream Republicans. "I truly believe God sent me here to run for Congress and make a change for the better for this district and for Williamsburg County." Culler ideas originate from his biblical upbringing and seeing people in the district. "My campaign is about Hope. In the 6th district, the people have been gerrymandered in and then left. I am situation blind, people have different lives."

Growing up, Culler did not have an understanding of what it truly means to appreciate others and to help others. His father taught him that you always give a man his due. "My dad would go up to homes where the porch was falling apart and he didn't know the person. He could see the arrogance in me, and he told me `I don't know them, but I am about to.' Within a few minutes, he was best friends with this guy, talking with each other just like they have known each other forever. My dad explained, `These people are just as important as you are. Don't judge. Don't look at their house, their car, their clothes or anything else. The people have heart and you need to pay attention to that.' It took me a little while to understand that; we are all valuable people and we all deserve a chance to do better with our life." In a district of 700,000 people, many people have lost hope. Many feel that hope comes from leaders. "Clyburn wants to feed people for a day with his fish dinners. I want to come in and provide business, industry, and education to feed them and their families for a lifetime." Many constituents do not have the education to get good paying jobs. Education does not stop, and the American notion is to stop learning once they have finished school. Culler points out, "We have to instill in our nation that education is a lifetime pursuit and it is not a slogan. If we want to change things, we have to better ourselves. When we were growing up, we learned something. We weren't taught just for the test. Many in the 6th district can't read and they are blinded by this lack of education. We have to change the mindset, that's where the Hope comes in." Culler is passionate about education; he believes that it's not just education for the youth but also education for adults to get those in need of training and education.

Unlike most Republicans Culler does not want to cut entitlements for those needing those entitlements from the government. "I will not vote in any way that will cut the entitlements of the people that they count on to eat and feed their families. I am Prolife plus. Voters have stated that they can both feed their family and allow Clyburn to stay in office or they can follow their values and starve. I want to give the voters an out. I will not touch their way of feeding their family and they will be able to save the unborn. If a family has to choose their values of pro-life/ pro-choice or feeding their family and that's how they vote, then I'm giving them a way out. I'm giving them an opportunity to keep their values and to be able to feed their family." This does not mean that he wants people to stay on government assistance. This is a start to getting them on the right track to getting someone in the office that can work for them to bring jobs to them.

Culler supports the military and like most Republicans does not believe in military budget cuts. Culler disagrees with giving away aid and supplies to other countries while our country is starving. "It makes no sense. I am a Conservative Republican. I want people to know that during the ice storm when so many people were without power and food that they were living like many people here in the 6th district live every day."

Culler has been ridiculed on Facebook and other social media networks. He has been called corny and out of date. He even had his loyalties questioned. He has held strong to his beliefs and is passionate about bringing the 6th district out of the slumber that it is in. He just wants to keep improving and recently posted on Facebook a response to the question of plans if elected. "My plan consists of two parts that are dependent on the synergy of each to be successful encompassed in a state of heart that reflects my Christian faith. I look to bring companies into the Sixth so as to provide opportunity and better the educational opportunities of our youth while furthering the training/education of our adult work-force so as to be prepared to accept the requirements of the new jobs." www.facebook.com/AnthonyCullercom

Culler believes that in order for the district become successful it needs successful leaders. "I believe I am doing what I am supposed to do and I am going to make a difference. I talk to people that I am making a difference with. I tell them there is Hope and do not give up on this District. We need leaders willing to go out and do for the district." Culler is passionate about helping the people here is Kingstree. "I want to be the one to call industries and get the jobs here. With my sales experience, there is no reason why I can't make those call for District 6. This District is addictive! I believe in the people here and I see their struggles. I want to fix this district. It can't be understated how much a positive optimistic person change things." He also pleads that constituents not vote just straight party, but for the individual and take kids into the voting booth to educate them in the life desired for them. Culler states, "We need to start leading by example and teaching the youth to take part in their government."

Congressman James E. Clyburn

Incumbent Congressman Jim Clyburn states in a flyer "When I first asked voters of South Carolina's 6th Congressional District to send me to Congress, I promised to put service above self and principles above politics." Since been elected in 1992, Congressman Clyburn has secured federal support for locations outside of the 6th Congressional District as well as within the 6th District. He has led legislation to establish the National Gullah Geechee Heritage Corridor that span along the eastern coast of the United States. This bill took seven years to pass and authorized $1 million a year for 10 years and established a commission to manage the core door and its assets. In an interview with The News, Clyburn stated, "Look at my record and I hope to continue building on my record. Anyone in Williamsburg County can take a look and see that significant economic development has taken place in the county."

Additionally, Congressman Clyburn worked an amendment into the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to direct 10% of ARRA's Rural Development funds to communities were 20% or more of the citizens have lived below the poverty level for the last 30 years. He refers to this formula as the 10-20-30. Because of the 10-20-30 formula, many areas including the town of Kingstree and Williamsburg County received funds to develop much needed water systems. "It came about because of the formula that I personally put into the Recovery Act. There is 136 miles of water line laid in the county. " The Act has expired however Clyburn is working with both parties to put 10-20-30 into other parts of the budget to make it a permanent law. "I want to be able to get this formula put into other areas of the budget so that we can make improvements to Williamsburg County. Change comes slow and I know that there are a lot of people who would like for all the money to keep flowing to their community. What I have done with that formula is convinced other members in Congress that 10% of all the money in that section of the law ought to be going to areas in the community where 20% of the voter population has been stuck below the poverty level for the last 30 years. It's working." Across the country, 4,655 rural communities have received $1.7billion for other infrastructure projects. Other improvements from the 10-20-30 formula has allowed for the improvements of the new Courthouse building in Kingstree and Law Enforcement Division as well as increased cellular reception through many areas of the county and the district.

Congressman Clyburn states that since "We are no longer in Iraq and we are, for all intensive purposes, out of Afghanistan in the next several months. The level of expenditures that were mentioned while we were fighting in wars with Iraq and Afghanistan that ought to be maintained at this particular juncture is foolishness. That is where fraud takes place; when we have a system bloated by contractors etc. According to the accounting office, we will be saving $700 billion-900 billion. We need a realistic defense budget and that is what we are doing. We are going to try to reach accommodations with those other people around the world with diplomacy. Its knee jerk and a little bit simplistic to say that we can't use smaller defense budget to fight wars when we are not fighting a war." This money can be used in other areas of the budget. The money can be reinvested for Veteran Care. "That's what we plan to do, but I can't tell you that's what will happen because Republicans control the House and the Speaker of the House. They determine what those funds will be for. I can tell you that my answer will be for Veteran Care."

Congressman Clyburn has been called an expert in civil rights by Chris Matthews on MSNBC, stating "I have great respect for you." Clyburn is this especially proud of the role played in passing the Affordable Care Act and his vote to raise minimum wage. The bill is being discussed in Congress and needs 218 votes in order to get on the floor. Pressure to pass this bill will come from the voters. "Anytime you talk about doing anything for low income people, it's a big problem. But there is no problem giving subsidies to the big farmers or tax breaks for oil interests. When we start talking about low income people or middle income Americans benefiting from the largeness of our society, it becomes a problem for those in Congress."

Clyburn shared a story about a previous experience that happened in 1992 in Andrews. He visited a sewing plant and met many of the employees and observed the way those people worked at that facility. The owner invited him to the office and handed him an envelope. Then the owner invited him to look out of a glass wall that looked over the employees as they worked on the floor. Clyburn recollected the words shared with him by the owner of the facility, "Once you are elected into Congress, one of the first issues you will have to deal with is a bill to raise the minimum wage. I will send you a letter asking you not to do it, but all of those people on the floor will want you to do it. Now this plant sits in Georgetown County and it's not in your district, but most of the people working on that floor live in Williamsburg County and that is in your district. Don't ever forget those people on that floor."

He states he is Pro-Choice and Pro-Life. "I am the father of three daughters. When it deals with fundamental rights of women, the choice is up to them in their situation. I believe in the 7th chapter of Matthew, we are told `Judge not, least ye be judge.' And don't worry about the mote in that's in the neighbor's eye, worry about your own. Judge not that he be judged."

On the issue of valid photo ID to vote, Clyburn is adamant about his position. He states that he is for valid photo ID, but what he is against is that stating a student's college or university ID is not valid but that an ID issued for a hunter's license is valid. He states, "This is not valid Photo ID. I am against stuff that has nothing to do with IDing voters, but trying to disenfranchise voters. If the ID is required is an ID that most black people will not have but it is something that most white people will have, then that says to me that you are not trying to ID the voter. You are trying to deny the voters the right to vote." Not every religion allows for photos to be taken and some voters are completely against having photos of them taken. They are entitled to any religion because our constitutional rights. Congressman Clyburn goes on to state, "To say to an 85-90 year old person who has all kinds of ID, such as social security card as well as everything else, that this ID is not good enough. According to SC Law, they would not be able to vote and that is not right."

Congressman Clyburn is asking for constituents to review his record and agree that he is keeping his promise to the citizens in District 6.

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