Upstate chambers rank candidates in race for Congress

Republican candidate Dan Hamilton received an "Excellent" rating from the Upstate business leaders.   Contributed photo

The Greenville Chamber, Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, and Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce recently rated the 4th Congressional District candidates, helping Upstate business leaders decide which of the 19 Congressional candidates they will support. 

Based on the results, two Republican, one Democrat, and an American party candidate have earned an “Excellent” rating, while three candidates from the Republican party have earned a “Well-Qualified” rating. 

“With so many candidates, there has been a lot of confusion among business leaders in deciding which candidate to back in this race,” Allen Smith, president and CEO of the Spartanburg Area Chamber, said. “We hope we can provide some clarity for our members as they navigate the final month of this campaign.”

Among those who earned an “Excellent” rating are Republicans Dan Hamilton and Stephen Brown. democrat Eric Graben also earned the “Excellent” rating, as did Guy Furay of the American Party. The GOP's Josh Kimbrell, Shannon Pierce, and William Timmons scored a “Well-Qualified” rating.

The candidates were sent a 10-question written survey containing issues on trade, tax policy, regulation, and immigration, as well as their top priorities and how they will achieve those. They were also asked to attend in-person interviews which were held May 11. The scores are tabulated based on written answers (40 percent) and in-person interviews (60 percent). 

Of the 19 candidates, 14 of them returned the questionnaire containing their respective answers. However, Republican candidate Lee Bright was not able to attend the in-person interview although he was able to submit the written questionnaire. 

“We urge citizens across the Fourth District to carefully judge the candidates on their merits and we urge them to vote on June 12,” Dr. Marjorie Dowd, president/CEO of the Greater Greer Chamber, said. “Open Congressional elections do not happen very often, so it is vital that we all take some time before June to learn about each of these candidates.”

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