ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) -More than one million South Carolinians have cast a ballot early, but the election is far from over. One race to watch on Election Day is South Carolina’s fifth congressional district.
South Carolina’s fifth congressional district candidates Representative Ralph Norman and Moe Brown sat down with WBTV to talk to voters about some big issues - COVID-19, the economy and healthcare.
The most pressing - the coronavirus. New cases are on the rise in the fifth district and both candidates have different plans of attack.
Norman says people are taking the disease seriously and hospitals are well-equipped to help those in need. He says people have learned much more about the virus, like washing hands and social distancing. He says all the hospitals are taking precautions and will have beds available. York County is currently at a 100 percent hospital bed capacity rate.
He says a vaccine should come sooner rather than later. Norman also adds people are using the safety precautions being asked of them. He also adds wanting to investigate China’s involvement in the disease’s spread.
“We’ll get through it and American’s getting back to work will make all the difference in the world," says Rep. Norman.
For challenger Brown, he says COVID-19 shows what South Carolina is lacking. He says creating more hospitals and doctor’s offices and getting better broadband for telehealth screenings is the key to fighting COVID-19. Brown says partisan differences have to stop to help the people. He says driving 45 minutes to an hour for healthcare is unacceptable.
“It exacerbated the issue so much people are focusing on it that much more," says Brown.
Brown says healthcare is a key factor in the COVID-19 battle. He is paving the way for a stronger Affordable Care Act (ACA). Brown feels one health scare can drain your savings or and potentially put you into bankruptcy.
“Enhancing the ACA. Make sure we are enhancing the good things about it. We must protect those things and then work on the issues we know we need to fix," says Brown.
On the other side, Norman has been working to repeal and replace the ACA. He is for more insurance options, protections for pre-existing conditions and less government in healthcare. He also says people should be able to customize their healthcare.
“We’ve got to get a healthcare system that works. A patient-centered healthcare that the private sector is actively involved in," says Norman.
COVID-19′s economic recovery efforts are in full swing but the candidates differ on who should get help. Norman says some people in the area were making more money on unemployment than at work. He says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been blocking the conservative approach to a stimulus bill.
“They want to go back to work and want their employees back, but many are making more at home not doing anything than going back to work and that’s just not right," says Norman.
Brown, on the other hand, reiterated the government is in place to help the people. He says to vote for people dedicated to helping the people. He says helping the people can help other problems in the state, like broadband.
“The government is there to represent the people and match the collective resources of the country in times of need especially right now," says Brown.