Thursday, July 29, 2010

Alvin Greene Makes His First Campaign Appearance Since Winning Nomination

Alvin Greene Makes His First Campaign Appearance Since Winning Nomination

JEFFREY COLLINS,Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- In his first campaign appearance, South Carolina's surprising U.S. Senate candidate, Alvin Greene, received applause Sunday with his exhortations to improve education and fight unemployment.

Greene started his speech at the monthly meeting of the local NAACP branch in his hometown of Manning by slowly rattling off national job loss statistics and South Carolina's dismal rankings in standardized tests. Organizers have moved the location of the meeting twice -- first to a larger church, then the local junior high school as the number of people expected to come swelled.

"We have more unemployed now in South Carolina than any other time in our state's history," he said.

He suggested infrastructure projects put on hold after 9/11 could be restarted, such as an interstate from Michigan to the South Carolina coast.

"Lets get South Carolina and America back to work and let's move South Carolina forward," he said.

The speech appears to be the Democrat's first campaign appearance.

Greene hasn't spoken publicly except for a series of meandering, awkward media interviews since his unexpected June 8 primary win over a former judge and state lawmaker who had the full backing of the Democratic party. He withstood a challenge to the election and calls he should step aside after his arrest on a felony charge of showing obscene Internet photos to a University of South Carolina student.

Greene has refused to talk about the case since his win. But he has spoken about other things, like wanting to help pull South Carolina from its economic doldrums by manufacturing and selling action figures based on his life and military career.

The Manning branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said it invited Greene to speak so its members could get to know him better.

Greene faces Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint and Green Party candidate Tom Clements in November.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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