NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Thousands of people spent their Saturday at the bend in North Charleston for the 10th annual Blue Jamboree rally to see presidential candidates and local leaders speak.
With 14 presidential campaigns represented and seven candidates addressing the crowds in person, event organizer Colleen Condon with the Charleston County Democratic Party said this year was the largest democratic fundraiser yet in South Carolina.
“In the South Carolina population, we have the diversity that is America,” Condon said. “Candidates might do alright in Iowa or New Hampshire, but this is proving they can do okay in most of the states.”
Presidential hopefuls among the attendees were Sen. Kamala Harris, Andrew Yang, Tom Styer, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Sen. Michael Bennet, Gov. Steve Bullock, and former Rep. John Delaney.
Back to back, candidates took the stage, speaking to voters on a number of issues affecting the state from raising the minimum wage to climate change.
At the event, voter and activist Belvin Olasov with the Conservation Voters of South Carolina said many people came out in the hopes of not just listening to what the candidates had to say, but also to be heard.
“I guess people go to blue jamboree ready and willing to learn about other issues and organizations,” Olasov said. “And they’re willing to put their time and energy into their causes, which I appreciate.”
Dozens of workers with the movement “Fight for $15” used the jamboree as a time to rally for raising the minimum wage and organizing a union. South Carolina currently uses the national minimum wage of $7.25 / hr.
Taiwanna Milligan, a McDonald’s worker striking at the event, said seeing presidential candidate Kamala Harris join their rally energized her.
“It means a whole lot because it made me feel like she understands the fight and the struggle we’re going through,” Milligan said. “It’s a big deal to me. I’m excited to be out here.”
The South Carolina Democratic primary will take place Feb. 29, 2020.