Jaime Harrison

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Jaime Harrison
DNC Winter Meet 0498 Jamie Harrison (33210877215) (cropped).jpg
Chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party
In office
May 4, 2013 – April 29, 2017
Preceded byDick Harpootlian
Succeeded byTrav Robertson
Personal details
Born (1976-02-05) February 5, 1976 (age 43)
Orangeburg, South Carolina, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Marie Boyd
EducationYale University (BA)
Georgetown University (JD)
WebsiteCampaign website

Jaime R. Harrison (born February 5, 1976) is an American politician who served as the chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party from 2013 to 2017, and is an associate chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Harrison is running for U.S. Senate from South Carolina in the 2020 election.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Harrison was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina. He was raised by his mother and his grandparents.[3] In 1994, he was selected to the United States Senate Youth Program. He attended Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School[4] and received a scholarship to Yale University, where he majored in political science.[3] After graduating from Yale in 1998, Harrison worked as a teacher for a year at his former high school. In 1999, he was appointed COO of College Summit, an educational non-profit. He earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 2004.[5]


After leaving College Summit, Harrison became involved in politics, working for Jim Clyburn as his floor director of operations while Clyburn was the Majority Whip of the United States House of Representatives.[6] Harrison went on to serve as executive director of the House Democratic Caucus and the vice chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party.[5] He later served as a lobbyist for the Podesta Group.[3][7] In addition to lobbying work at Podesta Group, he has also lobbied on behalf of United Way Worldwide and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.[4]

In May 2013, Harrison became the chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party. He is the first African American to do so.[3][8]

Harrison declared his candidacy for chairperson of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in the February 2017 election.[9][10] He defended his eight-year record at the Podesta Group, saying, "It's how I pay back the $160,000 of student loan debt."[11] His clients at the Podesta Group included banks such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo, financial giants Berkshire Hathaway and Avenue Capital Management,[12] pharmaceutical companies Merck[13] and Amylin, casinos such as Caesars and Harrah's; the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity; Walmart,[14] General Motors, Google, and Lockheed Martin.[15]

Harrison ended his bid for DNC chair on February 23, 2017 and endorsed Tom Perez.[16]

Harrison accepted a position as associate chairman and counselor of the DNC (appointed by Tom Perez). Harrison implemented a program called "Every ZIP code Counts" with the DNC. The program supplied each state party with $10,000 per month so long as the state party did an analysis of its strengths and weaknesses for its internal operations. [17]

2020 U.S. Senate election[edit]

Harrison filed paperwork on February 7, 2019, to challenge Senator Lindsey Graham by running for his seat in the U.S. Senate in the 2020 election. No Democrat has won a statewide election in South Carolina since 2006.[18] Harrison launched his campaign on May 29, 2019, with a short video released on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Despite their political rivalry, Harrison is friends with Matt Moore, the chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party. The two co-taught a course at the University of South Carolina during the fall semester of 2015.[19]

Harrison and his wife, Marie Boyd, live in Columbia, South Carolina.[6]


  1. ^ Lovegrove, Jamie (February 7, 2019). "Former SC Democratic leader moves closer to challenging Sen. Lindsey Graham in 2020". Palmetto Politics. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Barton, Tom (May 25, 2019). "SC Democrat Jaime Harrison launches US Senate campaign to challenge Lindsey Graham". The State.
  3. ^ a b c d Behre, Robert. "Harrison expected to lead Dems". Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Lee Tant. "D.C. lobbyist, former teacher stops by alma mater to encourage students". The T&D. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Ex-Clyburn aide seeks S.C. Dem chair". Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Hendren, Lee (February 12, 2013). "Orangeburg native seeks chairmanship of S.C. Democrats". The Times and Democrat. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  7. ^ "Harrison, Jaime R: Lobbyist Profile, 2009". Open Secrets.
  8. ^ "Harrison is voted new chairman of SC Democrats". The Times and Democrat. May 5, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  9. ^ "SC Democrats' Harrison a frontrunner for DNC chair?". Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  10. ^ Coyne, Amanda (November 15, 2016). "SC Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison running for DNC chair". The Greenville News. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  11. ^ Dumain, Emma (November 14, 2016). "S.C. Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison launches bid to run DNC". The Post And Courier. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  12. ^ "Lobbying Spending Database Harrison, Jaime R, 2010 | OpenSecrets". www.opensecrets.org. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  13. ^ "Lobbying Spending Database Harrison, Jaime R, 2012 | OpenSecrets". www.opensecrets.org. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  14. ^ "LD-2 Disclosure Form". soprweb.senate.gov. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  15. ^ "LD-2 Disclosure Form". soprweb.senate.gov. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  16. ^ Kujawa, Dawn (February 23, 2017). "SC's Harrison drops bid for DNC chair". The State. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  17. ^ Dumain, Emma (November 6, 2017). "Jaime Harrison knows how Democrats can win elections. Are Democrats listening?". The News & Observer. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  18. ^ Dumain, Emma (February 7, 2019). "Jaime Harrison takes first official step to challenge Lindsey Graham for U.S. Senate". McClatchy. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  19. ^ Landers, Elizabeth; Williams, Brenna (February 18, 2016). "Odd Couple: How a Republican and a Democrat became friends in South Carolina". CNN. Retrieved November 10, 2016.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Dick Harpootlian
Chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Trav Robertson