Maryland Gov gives pep talk to SC Dems, backs Colbert Busch

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley at the SC Democratic Conference Saturday

By Ava Wilhiteawilhite@abcnews4.comCHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) Inside a West Ashley High School choir room sat Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley who was sitting in on the South Carolina Democratic Party Issues Conference, where topics were discussed, including jobs, education, Medicaid and the new voter{}ID law.{}

"I understand there are 217,000 South Carolina voters that do not have a photo{}ID and most of them are poor or elderly or both," said O'Malley. {}

Governor O'Malley told the audience how democratic leadership helped to turn Maryland around.{}

"South Carolina is an important state and South Carolina should be doing better. We believe in a practical approach to governing.{} We believe in doing the things that work. I think our old ideologies of left and right have not served us well for these changing times, and I think we have to be much more laser focused," said O'Malley.

O'Malley said it's the same kind of leadership he sees in 1st Congressional district candidate, Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch.{}

"I think it's terrific. {}I believe that Elizabeth Colbert Busch is exciting young people in this party. I think she is bringing new leadership in to the party, and I think that's going to be a very exciting congressional race and we are very hopeful for her," said O'Malley.

With a new campaign comes new volunteers for the party. University of South Carolina student Mary-Elizabeth Phillips jumped to the chance to help with the campaign.

"It's really great with the new campaign going. It kind of sparks their interest, you know Elizabeth Colbert Busch being Steven Colbert's sister even if they are just listening for that, usually they seem to be intrigued by that," said Phillips.

The Charleston County Democratic Party believes their candidate will be ready for the coming May election.

"We have a candidate who can absolutely win this seat and she is the right person with the right message. She is an experienced businesswoman and you compare her business credentials of anyone in the field, it's not close," said SC Democratic Chair Richard Hricik.

The special election will take place on May 7.

Colbert Busch will face either Republican Mark Sanford or Curtis Bostic in May. The Republican runoff to see who will move on is set for April 2.

Green Party candidate Eugene Platt will also be on the ballot in May.