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These women of color are running politics in S.C.
June 20, 2019
By Laura Krantz Globe Staff

"After graduating in 2016 from the University of South Carolina Columbia, she went to work for the city’s mayor and realized that few people were doing civic and political work. Even fewer were people of color.

“Where are all the black people doing the work that we are doing? Why are we so behind when we are in such an important state for this space?” she wondered when trying to hire for the O’Rourke campaign. She has asked the young women she mentors to tag along with her on the trail.

“I don’t want to be one of the first and last black woman to do this work,” Harper said she told them. “There is no reason why you can’t do this, too.”

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OnPoint on WACH Fox: Changing face of SC politics

July 1, 2019

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - This week on OnPoint on WACH Fox, we look at the South Carolina Democratic party and the changing face of politics in the 2020 presidential race.

Several new young political operatives are part of what Democrats are calling an extraordinary new era in South Carolina politics. A younger generation of political leaders, including top campaign officials who are revitalizing the party in a state that has been controlled by Republicans for decades.


NPR's Rachel Martin talks to political strategist Lauren Harper and Janet Murguia of the Latino advocacy group UnidosUS about Nevada's Latino voters and South Carolina's African American voters.


Lauren Harper, the South Carolina co-chairwoman of The Welcome Party, which is seeking to court independent voters ahead of the primary, said that many of those unaligned voters are still in play for Democrats and will prove crucial in the party’s efforts to not only win the White House in November, but recapture a majority in the Senate.

“We can’t expect independent voters to turn out for an election or even a candidate if we don’t seek their vote,” Harper said. “The Democratic Party truly can’t afford to ignore these swing voters who hold the keys to Democratic success up and down the ballot. Shifting to being the party that welcomes in a majority and governs for progress requires talking with swing voters – not just about them.”

Univision News
Feb.  24, 2020

Interview with Univision News before the South Carolina Democratic debate and primary.

Univision News
Feb.  26, 2020

Post-debate interview with Univision News.

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042020 Lauren Harper re Veepstakes
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A councilwoman, a millennial and a grandma weigh in on the South Carolina primary

Feb. 28, 2020
By Eugene Daniels

South Carolina is the first test of black support for Democratic candidates, but in 2020 the vote feels a little more fractured than usual. So we went to the state to talk to voters and the grandmother of one of our reporters.

Audio of interview with CBS' LaCrai Mitchell

April 20, 2020

Vice President Biden committed to selecting a woman as his running mate. Should that woman be a black woman? Political strategist Lauren Harper weighs in. 

Read the interview transcript here.

Podcast interview with Mayor Terrence Culbreath

April 26, 2020

In this episode of Cultured And Country, I had a chance to catch up with my friend Lauren Harper. We had a chance to discuss her upbringing in Tega Cay, SC to her work at City Hall in the Mayor's Office and her huge leap of faith into Presidential Politics.

#CulturedAndCountry is hosted by Terrence Culbreath and is produced by STAMPEDE LLC


July 23, 2020

Amelia Wilks, Lauren Harper and Lyric Swinton are three University of South Carolina alumnae working to empower civic engagement in the city and state through CityBright, LLC.

Harper founded the firm in 2018 when she was working in Mayor Steve Benjamin’s Office as then Policy and Communications Advisor.

“Working for a visionary and impactful mayor like Steve Benjamin, I realized he had staff like me who were able to do meaningful projects and I was looking at other cities around South Carolina and saw not everyone could do things we were able to do and that was largely because some offices did not have the staff available to create exciting and innovative projects,” Harper said.

That need brought forth the original idea of CityBright to provide the extra support for offices across the state who wanted to do more but did not have the people or the manpower to do so.

Onpoint! with Cynthia Hardy

Aug. 24, 2020

Representing the Lindsey Must Go super PAC, CityBright CEO Lauren Harper talks about the importance of electing Democratic candidate Jaime Harrison to the U.S. Senate.

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Univision News

Oct. 7, 2020

CityBright CEO Lauren Harper speaks with Univision News ahead of the 2020 vice-presidential debate.

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South Carolina ETV

Nov. 3, 2020

Gavin Jackson is in our SCETV studios with communications strategist Rob Godfrey and CEO of CityBright Lauren Harper. Dean Gibbes Knotts from the College of Charleston joins us via Skype. Holly Bounds Jackson is with Kaitlyn Park at the USC Social Media Insights Lab. Thelisha Eaddy reports from Democratic headquarters in Columbia while Victoria Hansen is at Republican headquarters also in Columbia. #SCETV #Election2020

Quintin's Close-Ups

Feb. 18, 2021

Lauren Harper is a South Carolina politico and a sought-after communications strategist with her own consulting firm. She talks to me about politics, issues and 2022 for this edition of "Quintin's Close-Ups."

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Biden needs Joe Manchin. Democrats need to understand the senator, not attack him.

June 8, 2021

By Lauren Harper, co-founder of The Welcome Party

The Democratic Party entertains a level of self-criticism and accountability that makes it more diverse, welcoming and stronger. Manchin is a vital part of that.

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BBC's Americast

June 9, 2021

Lauren Harper, co-founder of The Welcome Party, speaks with Americast hosts Jon Sopel and Emily Maitlis. Harper provides context for why Sen. Joe Manchin took his position concerning the H.R. 1/S. 1, the For the People Act.

Harper's commentary starts around the 19:00 minute mark. 

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Columbia election a chance for historic shift with more women running for office

July 1, 2021

By Stephen Fastenau

More women on the ballot could help drive turnout during an off year with no statewide or congressional seats up for grabs, said Lauren Harper, a political strategist who is on the board of S.C. Women in Leadership and working for Matthews’ city council campaign. Harper worked in Benjamin’s office from 2016 to 2019, a period when Devine was the only woman on the council.

“Women have been natural leaders in different spaces, they just don’t always identify as leaders because they don’t have titles,” Harper said. “And so when they are given opportunities to run, I think women are starting to take those opportunities and lend their voices and their experiences to the discourse for the city.”

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50 years after 26th Amendment, activists still working to engage young SC voters

July 11, 2021

By Jamie Lovegrove

Lauren Harper, a senior adviser for the organization, said she thinks there’s a long list of reasons why young voters are not historically as engaged as other demographics, including the simple fact that most candidates tend to be older, making it harder for them to relate to their day-to-day concerns.

“It’s not always easy for young people to engage with older generations if they don’t feel like they can be understood,” Harper said. “Conversely, if the candidates don’t feel like they can understand young people, they don’t necessarily engage young people. They think they probably won’t vote anyway, so they won’t even try.”

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If Democrats want to win in 2022, they need Republicans — as candidates

Nov. 12, 2021

By Lauren Harper, co-founder of The Welcome Party

If Democrats want to win in 2022, they need Republicans — as candidates.

Democrats must become more welcoming and proactively recruit independents and ex-Republicans as both voters and candidates.

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