Democrats get their say in presidential contest

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By The Staff

The race for the Democratic Party nomination for president is a historic one.

For the first time in history, the two leading candidates are a woman, Hillary Clinton, and a black man, Barack Obama.

The candidate in third place – in both the delegate race and in most polls in the state and nation – is John Edwards, the former U.S. senator from North Carolina. If Edwards won the nominee and then were elected president, he'd be the first president to claim the Palmetto State as his birthplace since Andrew Jackson. Edwards was born in Seneca.

Clinton, the former first lady and a U.S. senator from New York, and Obama, a U.S. senator from Illinois, had their most fiery exchange of the campaign during a debate Monday in Myrtle Beach.

Both Obama and Edwards have campaigned heavily in the state this week. Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, has campaigned heavily in the state for his wife, while she has focused on states that will vote Feb. 5.

Edwards made his second stop in Lancaster County on Wednesday when he stumped at the University of South Carolina at Lancaster. The only other presidential candidate to campaign here this primary season was John McCain, the Republican who won the state's GOP contest.

If you participate in Saturday's primary, some of the names on the ballot may be unfamiliar.

Lesser-known candidates Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel are on the ballot, as are those of former candidates Joe Biden, Chris Dodd and Bill Richardson.