State Sen. Karl Allen of Greenville made it clear Monday night that he intends to make his seniority in the state Legislature an issue as he seeks a second term representing District 7.
His opponent in the June 14 Democratic primary, longtime Greenville City Councilwoman Lillian Brock Flemming, said seniority “doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re effective.” She ran unsuccessfully against him in 2012.
Allen, who spent 12 years in the South Carolina House before he was elected to the Senate, kicked off his re-election campaign at the Phyllis Wheatley Community Center.
During a brief stump speech, he listed various examples of state funding he said he helped secure for the district, then pointed out that he’s the next Democrat in line for a seat on the Senate Finance Committee.
“What that means is I’ll have a seat at the table where the money is,” Allen told supporters.
Changing senators “in the middle of the stream makes absolutely no sense to me,” he said.
Allen also said he had been instrumental in passing a law that requires Duke Energy and other power companies to consult with third parties before cutting off an elderly customer’s electricity.
“Let the work that I have done speak for me,” he said.
Flemming, a City Councilwoman for 34 years who taught Allen when she was a math teacher at Southside High School, said the district needs “an effective communicator who will partner and collaborate and get the work done.”
Appearing on Allen’s behalf was Greenville native and former NBA player Shammond Williams.
Williams, now an assistant basketball coach at Tulane University in New Orleans, recalled playing basketball as a boy on the very gymnasium where the rally was being held.
Photo Credit: Rudolph Bell