“I like to talk about my background as being a champion of the underdog,” he said.
He said a prime example is his work following a controversial 2003 Stratford High School raid in Goose Creek, where police waved guns as they suddenly raided a hallway packed with more than 100 students. No drugs were found.
Kimpson was a lead lawyer in a subsequent class-action lawsuit that sought to end such practices.
“Now it is established law across the country that students don’t shed their constitutional rights going through the schoolhouse door,” he said. “What happened that day hopefully will never happen again.
“That’s what people want to hear about,” he said of the current Senate campaign. “They want a fighter.”
Kimpson is one of six Democrats on the Aug. 13 ballot. The others are Emmanuel Ferguson, Herbert S. Fielding, Margaret Rush, Bob Thompson and Maurice Washington. An Aug. 27 runoff is likely.
The 44-year-old Columbia native said the top issue is funding for public education, and he particularly would like to see more pay for teachers. “They’re on the front lines with our children,” he said.
Kimpson said another big issue is to try to reverse the state’s unwillingness to expand Medicaid to 300,000 more adults under the Affordable Care Act. “The greatest resource a state has is a healthy population,” he added.
While Kimpson has never run for office, he was a vice chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party, and then-Gov. Jim Hodges appointed Kimpson chairman of the State Election Commission.
Kimpson also noted that he is the second-youngest candidate in the race, which he said could be an advantage because he could amass seniority that ultimately leads to influence in the Senate.