Republicans, Democrats Welcome Heavyweights

Both political parties hold state conventions same weekend

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By Monique Williams

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- Party over here...and over here. Not in recent memory have both political parties in the state prepared to host their respective, biggest fund-raisers and conventions on the same two days, of the same month and year, at nearly the same times of day.

State GOP spokesperson Alex Stroman says the South Carolina Republican party celebrates successes past and present at their 46th Annual Silver Elephant Dinner at the State Fair Grounds.

Rising U. S. Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, will deliver the keynote address. The outspoken political newcomer comes with already having received criticism from fellow republicans. The highlight of the evening will be a special tribute to former U. S. senator from South Carolina, Jim Demint.

With Vice President Joe Biden delivering a speech tonight, the South Carolina Democratic party will also pay tribute to one of its own. The purpose of this year's gathering, taking place at the State Convention Center, is to celebrate U. S. Representative Jim Clyburn's 20 years in congress. Incoming executive director for the state Dems, Jaime Harrison, says the annual Jefferson-Jackson fundraiser dinner, named for Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, focuses on state democrats' previous achievements and future goals.

Thousands expecting to attend both dinners. Each party has its respective state convention tomorrow where officers will be elected, or re-elected.

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