Rep. Tinubu Now US House Nominee in South Carolina, Gave up Georgia House Seat

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(APN) ATLANTA — Former State Rep. Gloria Bromell Tinubu (D-Atlanta), a progressive Democrat who served less than one full term in the General Assembly of Georgia, is now the Democratic nominee for US Congress for the newly apportioned Seventh Congressional District in South Carolina.

The District includes areas known as the Grand Strand and Pee Dee areas, and includes eight counties: Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion, and Marlboro.  The area generally comprises the northeastern coast of South Carolina and includes Myrtle Beach.

Bromell Tinubu beat a wide field of Democratic candidates, including Preston Brittain, the establishment candidate who had received the endorsements of State Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), South Carolina’s only Democratic Congressperson; former Gov. Jim Hodges; and Democratic Party of South Carolina Chairman Dick Harpootlian.  Bromell Tinubu, on the other hand, received South Carolina’s labor union endorsements.

Clyburn told The State newspaper, “I’ve only met her twice.  I don’t know much about her.”

Some voters were so upset by Bromell Tinubu’s surprise win in the Primary Election, that they set up a challenge to the results.  Harpootlian called for a Run-off, in a statement.

Donnie McBride and Vincent Masterpaul, two Brittain supporters, filed suit challenging the Primary results.  The crux of the dispute was whether Bromell Tinubu had won without a Run-off; when votes from a candidate, who had dropped out of the race, were counted, Bromell Tinubu had not won without a Run-off.

McBride and Masterpaul prevailed in the legal challenge, requiring a Run-off Election between Bromell Tinubu and Brittain, and Bromell Tinubu prevailed.

Tinubu challenged Brittain for his alleged Republican-ties, among other issues.

Based on the way the new District was drawn, Roll Call newspaper has rated the seat Safe Republican, however.

The Republican nominee is Tom Rice, an attorney.

Bromell Tinubu is originally from South Carolina, and earned a PhD from Clemson University in Agricultural Economics.

According to Bromell Tinubu’s spokesperson, former State Rep. Robbin Shipp (D-Atlanta), Bromell Tinubu “went up in July” 2011 to South Carolina to work on a house that was in disrepair.

According to Shipp, Bromell Tinubu “was going there to restore her family home and was planning on staying in the General Assembly.  She took a part-time teaching position,” at Coastal Carolina University.

“Then the District map came out, and she saw an opportunity to serve her community.  After the maps came out, she resigned,” from the Georgia legislature, Shipp told Atlanta Progressive News.

Georgians first received word of Bromell Tinubu’s planned resignation from the Blog for Democracy on December 14, 2011.

Bromell Tinubu served on the City Council from 1994 to 1998, and represented District 12, according to Thermice Beville, a spokesperson for the City of Atlanta.  Councilwoman Felicia Moore (District 9) has previously noted that she served as Bromell Tinubu’s aide before herself running for Council.

Bromell Tinubu unsuccessfully ran for Mayor of Atlanta in 1997 and 2001.  In 1997, she came in third among eleven candidates, behind now-former Mayor Bill Campbell and Marvin Arrington.

In 2001, she ran against Shirley Franklin, Robb Pitts, Gram Bilobi Osborne, and Trudy Kitchin.

The South Carolina Republican Party is making an issue out of Bromell Tinubu’s Mayoral campaigns, arguing that she was “too liberal for Atlanta,” in a July 03, 2012, post on their website.

“We already know that Gloria Bromell Tinubu, the South Carolina Democratic Party’s nominee in the new 7th Congressional District, is a Radical Union Organizer and Big Labor’s Best Friend.  What else does Gloria Bromell Tinubu have to hide?  Could it be her ties to the Green Party – a party so radical and far left of the Democratic Party that it makes most Democrats seem conservative?” the SCGOP writes.

To be sure, the Green Party of Georgia endorsed Bromell Tinubu in 2001 over now-former Mayor Shirley Franklin.

“The Georgia Green Party’s 2001 Platform shows exactly how radical the party and ‘Green’ Gloria Bromell Tinubu truly are.  Their leftist policy goals include declaring ‘peace’ in the war on drugs, opposing faith-based initiatives, shutting down nuclear power plants and replacing them with solar plants, opposing JROTC programs in schools, abolishing the CIA, creating a ‘peace force’ and a ‘peace tax’ fund, closing the School of the Americas (which the Greens call the ‘School of Assassins’), cutting 50% or more of the U.S. military’s budget, and eliminating the sales tax and implementing a ‘progressive’ tax policy,” the SCGOP writes.  [Many of these policies–such as abolishing nuclear power, ending the war on drugs, and progressive tax policies–are progressive and are consistent with the Editorial position of APN.]

“We intend to bring the momentum of the (Ralph) Nader campaign into our work to elect Gloria the next Mayor of Atlanta,” Hugh Esco, the Georgia Green Party Secretary, said in 2001.

In 2004, Bromell Tinubu moved to North Carolina, where she became President of Barber-Scotia College.  One week after starting her term, Barber-Scotia College lost its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS); Bromell Tinubu quit shortly thereafter.

In 2010, when then-State Rep. Georganna Sinkfield (D-Atlanta), the long-time State Representative decided to run for Secretary of State of Georgia [winning the Democratic nomination but ultimately losing the General Election to Brian Kemp], she entered the race at the last minute, giving no indication that she would not run for reelection.  

Bromell Tinubu was the only person to qualify at the last minute for Sinkfield’s seat, leading at least one other legislator at the time to tell Atlanta Progressive News that they believed Sinkfield had hand-picked Bromell Tinubu for the seat.

During her time in the legislature, Bromell Tinubu criticized SACS, after it put the Atlanta Public Schools system on accreditation probation for Board governance issues.  Bromell Tinubu had already been familiar with SACS because of her brief term at Barber-Scotia College.

Then, late last year, Bromell Tinubu announced that she was resigning, after not even serving one complete term, in order to run for US Congress in South Carolina.

This created a Special Election for a vacancy, which was later won by State Rep. Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta).

Bromell Tinubu returned to South Carolina in July 2011 and took a teaching associate position at Coastal Carolina University.

Bromell Tinubu’s recent Primary and Run-off victories have surprised many political observers in South Carolina.  According to The State, she spent a lot of her own money on last-minute media buys in the Primary.  Bromell Tinubu also benefitted from one candidate dropping out of the race and a thirty percent Black voting age population in the District.

The Democratic Party of Georgia did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

(END/2012)

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