Thomas Dixon to challenge U.S. Sen. Tim Scott

Thomas Dixon

The people of South Carolina deserve a representative who understands his constituents, a local activist said Monday while announcing that he is running as a Democrat for United States Senate.

Thomas Dixon, 63, co-founder of The Coalition: People United to take Back our Community, launched a grassroots campaign in front of about 75 people at the International Longshoremen’s Association Hall to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott. Dixon will kick off his campaign March 1.

Dixon, a self-described former alcoholic and drug addict who’s been to prison, said during his announcement that his priorities are getting illegal guns off the streets, supporting veterans and seniors, and ending racial profiling by police officers. He also supports equal education and health care for all.

“I’m not a lifelong politician,” said Dixon, adding that his life experiences make him a good candidate. “I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt in my heart that I am the best person to represent the voice and the will of the people of South Carolina.”

Scott said earlier this year that he will seek re-election.

“Sen. Scott is truly honored to serve the people of South Carolina in the U.S. Senate, and looks forward to earning their vote again this year,” his spokesman told The Post and Courier on Monday.

Scott ended 2015 with $4.5 million cash on hand, according to his latest Federal Election Commission filing.

Dixon asked supporters to “give a dime or give a dollar” and said he is in discussion with the Democratic Party with the hopes it will provide some financial support.

“If it takes me as much money to get elected as Tim Scott ... then I don’t need to be running for office,” Dixon said. “Give me $10 million for a campaign and I will shut Tent City down and move every homeless person in this state into a home.”