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Jim Clyburn says he took his 'eyes off South Carolina' in 2022, vows not to do the same in 2024

Joseph Bustos, The State (Columbia, S.C.) on

Published in News & Features

COLUMBIA, S.C. — U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, South Carolina’s highest ranking elected Democrat, says he took his eye off of the Palmetto State in 2022 when Democrats suffered losses in statewide races and in the State House.

But Clyburn says he won’t lose sight of his home state again.

Sitting inside a holding room with refreshments at EdVenture Children’s Museum during his annual fish fry, Clyburn said he’s still up for dealing with the pressure of being a prominent Democratic Party member who receives requests for appearances across the country.

In 2022, Clyburn campaigned across the country for Democrats to try to stave off an anticipated red wave, which ultimately did not occur. Republicans were unable to make gains in the U.S. Senate and only achieved a slim majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

But in the process, Clyburn did not pay attention to his home state, where Democrats suffered losses in the State House of Representatives and lost the governor’s race by more than 17 percentage points. Republicans increased their state House majority to 88 seats in the 2022 elections, up from 80 seats.

“I did not personally concentrate on the legislative seats. I had no idea that these legislative seats were in any real danger,” Clyburn said in an exclusive interview with The State on Friday evening. “I guess I took my eyes off of South Carolina, which I will not do this time around. I’m going to concentrate on various legislative seats.”


Three of those Democratic losses were in Clyburn’s congressional district.

Clyburn donates to state, local parties

Even though much of Clyburn’s campaigning ahead of the 2022 midterm elections was across the country, he did provide financial resources for election efforts in the state, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Clyburn in 2022 contributed $350,000 to the state party, and many thousands more to county parties and local campaigns.


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