ELECTIONS 2014

SC Democrats vying for U.S. Senate to debate Thursday

jself@thestate.comMay 27, 2014 

  • Election 2014: ETV debates

    Two of the three Democrats running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Tim Scott will face off in a debate Thursday. A look at who they are:

    Joyce Dickerson

    Age: 68

    Family: Married 50 years to Mack Dickerson, a retired Air Force veteran; two children

    Political experience: Richland County Council member since 2005

    Work history: Retired compliance auditor for a company that audited insurance companies; also, a former cosmetologist and owner of a hair salon

    Education: Associate’s degree, Midlands Technical College, 1980; bachelor’s of science, Benedict College, 1993


    Harry Pavilack

    Age: 73

    Family: Married 30 years to Mary Jane Pavilack; two children

    Political experience: Ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for the then-new 7th District seat in Congress in 2012

    Work history: Partner, Pavilack Law Group; owner, Pavilack Realty

    Education: Bachelor’s degree, Clemson University, 1962; law degree, University of South Carolina School of Law, 1966

— Two of the three Democrats running for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Tim Scott will debate Thursday on ETV.

Richland County Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson and Myrtle Beach attorney Harry Pavilack will debate from 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Columbia’s Dickerson, 68, has been a member of Richland County Council since 2005. If elected, the former insurance industry compliance auditor and cosmetologist said her top priorities would be fighting for equal pay for women and addressing problems with healthcare services for veterans.

“The time has come for South Carolina to actually look favorably on trying to elect a woman to serve them in Congress, and I believe I am that woman,” added Dickerson, who chairs the National Foundation for Women Legislators.

Pavilack, 73, told The State Tuesday that if elected, he plans to go to Washington to fight House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. Boehner is not in the Senate, but Pavilack sees him as leading an effort to cut federal programs that help people.

A graduate of Clemson University and the University of South Carolina law school, Pavilack has a private law practice dealing mostly in injury cases. He also has a real estate company and works as a broker on mostly commercial real estate deals.

Pavilack sought bankruptcy protection from his creditors in 2010, citing more than $70 million in real estate debt. Pavilack said most of his real estate has been sold to pay back some of that debt.

The debate is the third of five sponsored by S.C. ETV and several S.C. newspapers, including The State.

Sidney Moore, a former York County Council member who lives in Rock Hill, also is running for the U.S. Senate seat as a Democrat. But Moore will not attend the debate, telling The State Tuesday that he already has several campaign events scheduled for this week and thought he would be better off making direct contact with those voters.

Republican Randall Young of Greenville and American Party candidate Jill Bossi of Tega Cay also have filed to run for the seat as GOP has incumbent Scott.

Reach Self at (803) 771-8658.

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