081717 Politics: Early start helps Democrat build recognition
Welcome to Coastal Observer

Photo galleries
Send a Letter
Local Events
Ad Specs


Mal Hyman answers questions at Drinking Liberally last week.

Politics: Early start helps Democrat build recognition

By Nikki Best
Coastal Observer

Mal Hyman is searching for support on the Waccamaw Neck in his campaign for the U.S. 7th District congressional seat, and it seems like he’s found some.

Hyman, a Democrat, made an appearance last week at the local Drinking Liberally chapter meeting at Pastaria 811 in Pawleys Island. Drinking Liberally is a progressive social group with chapters all over the country. The candidate gave a speech to the crowd and answered questions from the audience.

“I’ve been trying to get out and speak to groups, canvas, go to churches,” Hyman said. “People have been very receptive.”

The campaign is sloganed, “Common sense for the Common Good.” Hyman says he will not take any banking or corporate donations. Some of his main talking points are that he will fight for affordable health care, investing in American jobs, rebuilding infrastructure and strengthening Social Security. He reiterates the importance of the term “indivisible” as mentioned in the Pledge of Allegiance.

“People are talking about how we can be less divided, by race, gender, political ideology, income, from the police, from the earth, from our own conscience,” he said. “I think there’s a feeling that we’ve lost our moral compass and we want to do things differently.” Hyman believes he can be a new voice in Congress.

“We are looking, my husband and I, are looking for a candidate who is going to speak for the people,” Mary Rulli said. She has lived in the area for the last five years. A transplant from the High Point, N.C., area, she and her husband moved here to work for the hospital system. “We’ve been very impressed with the area and activism. That really has been what’s gotten us excited about being here.”

Hyman, a Coker College professor, filed to run in June. He ran against incumbent Republican Tom Rice in 2016. Rice received 61 percent of the vote to Hyman’s 38.9 percent.

One way Hyman is walking the walk of his campaign is that he is attending local events to hear what’s important to people. “We’re doing a bit of a listening tour,” he said. “That makes it clear what we need to do.” In Myrtle Beach he’s attended environmentalism events, a gathering about opioid addiction and a presentation by Mothers Against Violence.

The 7th District was created following the 2010 census. It was considered a swing sector in 2012 after Thad Viers, former state representative dropped out of the race. Rice was elected in 2012 and has held the seat since. He has not officially announced candidacy for 2018 and his regional and Washington, D.C., offices did not offer information on the congressman’s plans on Wednesday.

Rice will hold a constituent meeting Tuesday from 3 to 4 p.m. in Georgetown County Council chambers.

Hyman will still be teaching full time this fall. “It keeps me busy, but I’ve got days off,” he said. He’ll keep campaigning, and working to raise the funds necessary to be a contender. It’s an uphill climb. “I have Tuesdays and Thursdays off. Monday and Wednesdays I can do things in the evening. I’ve got the weekends free. Saturday typically I’ll canvas. Sunday I’ll be in church.”

Every stop on the campaign offers the chance to gain a new supporter. Rulli had never heard of Hyman before the meeting. She missed his previous campaign, but is glad to see he’s trying again. “I didn’t know who he was, and I like to know the candidates ahead of time,” she said. “After listening to him, he’s saying all the right things.”

Back to top

[E-Mail Article To a Friend]

Buy Photo Reprints

ˆ€© 2017 Coastal Observer
Home | Photos | Obits | Classifieds | Local Events | Ad Specs | Subscribe