Surprise! Little-Known Candidate Shakes Up SC Senate Primary, But Faces Obscenity Charge

Meg Kinnard, Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul), June 10, 2010

The night of his victory in South Carolina’s Democratic primary, U.S. Senate candidate Alvin Greene didn’t have much to say. Asked how he managed to defeat a four-term lawmaker who the party establishment figured would cruise to an easy win, the mysterious Greene had no insights.

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Now, thanks to his shocking win, he has the attention of state and national Democrats who also found out he faces a felony obscenity charge. After The Associated Press reported that on Wednesday, the leader of the state Democratic party said she asked Greene to withdraw from the race against Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint.

Greene refused.

“The Democratic Party has chosen their nominee, and we have to stand behind their choice,” Greene told an AP reporter at his Manning childhood home, which he shares with his father. “The people have spoken. We need to be pro-South Carolina, not anti-Greene.”

Greene, who did no fundraising and had no ads or website, had been considered such a long shot that neither his opponent nor the media bothered to check his background.

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Charged with disseminating, procuring or promoting obscenity, Greene could face up to five years in prison. He has yet to enter a plea or be indicted.

{snip} The college student Greene was accused of showing the obscenty described the encounter to the AP.

“I said, ‘That’s offensive,’ and he sat there laughing,” said Camille McCoy, a rising sophomore who said Greene sat down next to her in a computer lab and asked her to look at pornographic photos on his screen. “He said, ‘Let’s go to your room now.’ It was kind of scary. He’s a pretty big boy. He could’ve overpowered me.”

McCoy called campus police and picked Greene out of a photo array. Greene has posted bond on the charge, which carries a punishment of up to five years in prison.

Refusing to discuss the pending charge, Greene says he’s ready to get the message out about his platform, whose three main points–jobs, education and justice–were listed on a green campaign flyer he told a reporter he couldn’t have because it was his only copy.

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greene

Alvin Greene.

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