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Lindsey Graham’s senate challenger brings plexiglass screen to first debate


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The Democrat challenging Sen. Lindsey Graham for his South Carolina seat took coronavirus protection into his own hands — and brought a large plexiglass screen to their first debate.

Former lobbyist Jaime Harrison, 44, stood behind the high, multi-paneled partition screening him from Graham Saturday — even though his rival was 13 feet away and had tested negative the previous day.

“Tonight I am taking it seriously. That’s why I put this plexiglass up,” Harrison said from the debate stage in a mostly empty room at Allen University, a historically Black institution in Columbia.

Harrison — an associate Democratic National Committee chairman — said the pandemic had “impacted [him] personally” after a grand-aunt died in July “in a nursing home, by herself.”

“It’s not just about me, it’s about the people in my life that I have to take care of as well, my two boys, my wife, my grandmother,” Harrison said.

“Let’s take this issue seriously and do all that we can to not only take care of ourselves, but each other,” Harrison added.

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Graham recently met with President Trump, who is currently hospitalized with COVID-19, as well as other Senate Republicans who have tested positive for the coronavirus. Both he and Harrison say they tested negative Friday before taking the debate stage Saturday.

 Lindsey Graham speaking during the debate.
Lindsey Graham speaking during the debate.AP

Graham said the pandemic — especially Trump’s infection — was being too politicized. “The virus is a problem that came out of China, not Trump Tower,” he said.

After the debate, he claimed that Harrison was pushing a “radical agenda” that would “transform the country into something you won’t recognize.”

Harrison, meanwhile, said he was now unexpectedly tied in the hotly contested race. “We can win this race, and we can bring hope back to South Carolina,” he said after the debate.

With Post wires

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