June 9th, 2010
07:11 PM ET
12 years ago

Facing charges, Democrat refuses to leave S.C. Senate race

Washington (CNN) - Alvin Greene, the 32-year-old unemployed South Carolina Democrat who surprised party leaders by easily winning Tuesday’s Senate primary, vowed in an interview with CNN to remain in the race despite facing charges of “disseminating, procuring or promoting obscenity.”

“The voters of South Carolina have spoken, we have to remember that,” Greene said in a telephone interview Wednesday from his home in Manning, South Carolina. “They have chosen me as their Democratic Party nominee and we have to be pro-South Carolina rather than anti-Greene.”

South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Carol Fowler issued a statement Wednesday calling on Greene to relinquish the nomination and noted that she had personally made the request to him.

“Today I spoke with Alvin Greene, the presumptive Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate, and asked him to withdraw from the race,” said Fowler, who cited an Associated Press report about Greene’s prior arrest. “I did not do this lightly, as I believe strongly that the Democratic voters of this state have the right to select our nominee. But this new information about Mr. Greene … would certainly have affected the decisions of many of those voters.

"We are proud to have nominated a Democratic ticket this year that, with the apparent exception of Mr. Greene, reflects South Carolina’s values. Our candidates want to give this state a new beginning without the drama and irresponsibility of the past 8 years, and the charges against Mr. Greene indicate that he cannot contribute to that new beginning. I hope he will see the wisdom of leaving the race."

South Carolina Democrats chose Greene Tuesday to challenge Republican Sen. Jim DeMint in November. DeMint is strongly favored to win a second term.

Public records from the Richland County Fifth Judicial Circuit show that Greene was arrested on November 12, 2009, and charged with “disseminating, procuring or promoting obscenity.” A spokesman for the Richland County Solicitor was not able to provide CNN Wednesday with any further information about why Greene faced these charges.

Greene repeatedly rebuffed attempts in the interview with CNN to explain the arrest.

“I have no comment on that,” he said. “I don’t want distractions. I just have no comment about that.”

But Greene was more than willing to talk about his Senate campaign. As for running, the Democrat nominee said he had been “thinking about it for about two years.”

State Democratic Party officials said that Greene paid the $10,440 filing fee in March 2010, but he had never campaigned for the nomination.

On Tuesday, the politically-unknown Greene handily defeated former state Rep. Vic Rawl by a 59 percent to 41 percent margin to win the Democratic Senate nomination. Greene, in the interview with CNN, disputed the notion that he had not campaigned for the seat. But he did acknowledge that he ran a “low budget” Senate bid.

“I funded my campaign entirely out of my pocket,” said Greene. “I am self-managed and self-funded out of my personal money, everything up to this point.”

Greene described himself as a former member of the armed forces serving stints in the U.S. Air Force, South Carolina Air National Guard, U.S. Army and the South Carolina Army National Guard. Greene said he was discharged from the Army nine months ago and now lived at home with his father.

Greene said that his main campaign issues were “jobs, education and justice and better education for our children.”

He also noted that he would like to see Korea be governed “under a single democracy” similar to how East and West Germany were united after being divided during the Cold War. Greene said that when he was serving in the Army he was stationed in South Korea from June 2007 until June 2008. But he noted that “My domestic issues are the priority, this is what we have to take care of first.”

As for his next step, Greene said, “I am not sure.” He waited a moment and then ended the call. “But I have to go, I am very busy. I have been on the phone all day. The phone won’t stop ringing.”

Filed under: 2010 • Alvin Greene • South Carolina
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Not bad

    Doesn't sound worse than any of the other goofy liberals now in office

    June 9, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  2. Mike D.

    “disseminating, procuring or promoting obscenity.” and then "We are proud to have nominated a Democratic ticket this year that, with the apparent exception of Mr. Greene, reflects South Carolina’s values."

    This is going to be hilarious.... Southern Dem's LOL

    June 9, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  3. tim

    shocking you have to dig and dig to find this story on cnn.com. shocking. the story about the democrat from california accusing the arizona immigration bill's starters of developing the bill based on the influence of racists and basing her 'factual statement' on a BLOG was never on here either. what a joke.

    June 9, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  4. A.B.

    I agree with Democratic Chair Carol Fowler that Mr. Greene should withdraw from the Senate race due to his impending prosecution for sexual misconduct. The sudden publicity of this situation would undermine his credibility and doom his candidacy. The Republican opponent would exploit Green's legal problems to win the Senate race and the Republican leadership would use the issue to undermine the Democratic national standing and leadership. The Democrats stand for ethics and good government and cannot afford to support any Democratic politician or candidate who has serious ethics or legal problems. Mr. Greene's legal problems are indeed serious and warrant his withdrawal from the Senate race.

    June 9, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  5. ib

    Don' worry Pelosi will cover hs butt like she has for Rangel; Frank and who knows who else as long as they are a democrat.

    June 9, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  6. Kevin in Ohio

    Par for the course.... democrats deny their guilt .... he's following in Charlie Rangel's footsteps.

    June 9, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  7. Willy Brown

    When has the law and chagres been a reason for democrats to step down?

    June 9, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  8. Lib Hunter

    A criminal= A perfect fit into the Obama administration. Obama is surrounded by criminals, whats one more criminal democrat? LOL

    June 9, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  9. Bert Holliday

    It does not matter if a democrat is a crook or not; it only matters if the politician is a republican. The democraps have no morals or ethics so they can't be criticized for breaking a moral or ethical code when they are caught in a crime..

    June 9, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  10. Marie MD

    Somebody better clear up "“disseminating, procuring or promoting obscenity" before passing judgment.
    Considering that he is from SC I can't imagine him being any worse than those in power or running for office in that state who are bigots, cheaters, liars and clueless.

    June 9, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  11. constitutionalpatriot

    Oh boy what a winner. Sounds like he wants a war with North Korea too. We don't need a George W. Bush Jr. In congress working to start wars!

    June 9, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  12. Aaron

    The Dem bigwigs are complaining about this guy having been arrested. I'm confident that his crimes are petty in comparison to some of the elected officials...it is SC after all. Those guys just didn't get caught. Besides, some people may want a candidate who's not just another good ole boy.

    June 9, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  13. Republicans is smart in the head area

    What on earth is wrong with South Carolina?

    June 9, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  14. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Hmmm, an unknown candidate who never campaigned wins 60% of the vote. Just wondering whether there might have been some vote tampering in SC. But that would mean that Jim DeMint might not be entirely honest, and we know that can't be true.

    June 9, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  15. would certainly have affected the decisions of many of those voters

    must be quite a dirt bag for them to pull him from the race

    June 9, 2010 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  16. Carl Justus

    If Haley can brush off the adultry charge and the republicans dismiss the charge, then the democrats should dismiss the arrest against Greene. What did he do it must have not been too bad otherwise he would be in the slammer.

    I say they should support him with all the help they can give the man. Talk up his service record, we in South Carolina like to hear about those in the military and he can talk up the gun ownership and how it save his life in the military.

    He can talk up his hunting ability and get himself a pickup truck with a gun rack in the back window and drive around the state, that should be good for a 500,000 votes.

    June 9, 2010 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  17. A Kickin' Donkey

    Can't defend this guy ... sorry.

    June 9, 2010 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  18. MarkR

    We can only hope the SC "values" mentioned don't clear the state border. The SC political landscape is full of lying, cheating scoundrels that make NJ and Chicago politics look pristine in comparison.

    June 9, 2010 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |