UltraViolet PAC Endorses Queer Woman for South Carolina’s State House

Columbia’s Sam Edwards, a Democrat running for South Carolina House District 85, was named a Top Trailblazing Woman Candidate to watch in 2018 by the UltraViolet PAC, a leading national women’s group based in Colorado.
Edwards, who’s running for the first time to represent the community she grew up in, is one of 10 women running for state office across the nation to be endorsed by UltraViolet PAC this year. The full list is online here: https://weareultraviolet.org/ballot-races/
“Many are saying this will be the ‘year of the women’. But to create the dramatic and lasting change women need, we can’t just elect women to federal offices–we need to focus on down ballot races too. That need to elect women down ballot could not be more clear after the last week in Washington. Because Republicans turned their backs on survivors of sexual violence, we now have the most anti-women Supreme Court in generations. The need to have champions to act as a firewall against an ideologically driven Court that is stacked against women has never been greater,” explained Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and executive director of UltraViolet PAC. “That’s why, we’re proud to name Sam Edwards as one of the 10 top trailblazing women candidates to watch in 2018 and endorse her bid to be State Representative in South Carolina’s 85th District. We need more women like Edwards in our State governments. As an LGBTQ woman, Samantha would be joining a male-heavy legislature that, as recently as February, tried to pass a bill that would define gay marriage as “parody marriage.” She is running on defending and expanding health care as a human right, protecting the environment from corporate polluters, and pushing equitable funding of public schools.”

“I am extremely honored to be recognized on the same list as these nine outstanding women running to represent our communities across the country. Every day I am more determined to bring real representation for Irmo and Chapin, and fight for my community in the State House,” Edwards said.

Sam Edwards with Our Revolution SC and Planned Parenthood Votes South Atlantic, two organizations that also endorse Edwards’s candidacy for SC House District 85, in front of the Governor’s mansion earlier this year.

UltraViolet PAC based its endorsements of Edwards by scoring potential candidates on 10 key factors, including commitments to:
  1. End to Gender-based Violence: A world where sexual assault, sexual harassment, and domestic violence are rare–and when they happen, survivors are supported and perpetrators held accountable. Comprehensive consent-based sex education for all so our children can become adults with healthy, shame-free views on sexuality and relationships grounded in consent and respect.
  2. Immigrant Justice: An immigration system based in justice that includes a path to citizenship for immigrants and asylum-seekers and rejects their criminalization and deportation.
  3. Racial Justice: Racial equity in every basic aspect of life, including housing, employment, education, health care, and representation in appointed and elected bodies. We must put the needs of people historically abandoned or attacked by the state–people of color, Native people, sex workers of color, and trans people of color– front and center in any attempt to create safe and thriving communities.
  4. LGBTQ Equity: A society that celebrates and honors the diversity of genders and sexualities and where all people live free from bullying, violence, and discrimination in workplaces, schools, communities, and accessing healthcare.
  5. Economic Security for All: A nation where all people have what they need to live with dignity, including affordable housing, a living wage, and adequate parental, medical, disability, and sick leave for ALL people. An end to gender and race wage gaps.
  6. Disability Justice: All people, including those living with a disability, have the right to live dignified, full, self–directed lives. We must create systems of healthcare, education, housing, and employment that care for ALL people and fully address the needs of those with disabilities.
  7. Safe Communities: Safe communities where no one has to live in fear of gun violence.
  8. Healthy Environments: Healthy toxin-free land and environments with clean air and water in which to build our families, communities, and futures.
  9. Reproductive Freedom: Access to non-judgmental, complete reproductive health care, including abortion access, for all people regardless of income or geography.
  10. Health Care for All: Accessible, affordable, quality, and culturally competent health care, including mental health services, for all.
Edwards is challenging Rep. Chip Huggins, R, who was first elected in 1998. The election is Nov. 6 and early absentee voting has started.