SC politics: Lindsey Graham challengers’ fundraising numbers coming in

January 30, 2014 

File photo.

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com

Graham challengers’ fundraising numbers coming in

Early birds in the race to oust U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-Seneca, reported their fundraising totals for the final quarter of 2013 ahead of Friday’s Federal Election Commission deadline.

Republican businessman Richard Cash of Easley raised about $76,200 from October through December and has $255,400 to spend after contributing about $200,000 of his own money to his campaign last year.

Jay Stamper, the only Democrat in the race, raised $12,000 in the quarter, mostly from Washington state, where he last lived and ran into some business and legal trouble. Stamper received two donations from S.C. residents during the quarter.

Republican Nancy Mace hasn’t filed her report yet, but the Charleston public relations executive said in an email to supporters that she has raised more than $400,000 since August, when she entered the race.

Orangeburg attorney Bill Connor’s first fundraising report since entering the race in November also is due this week. State Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, said fundraising has struggled without the support of national Tea Party and libertarian political groups.

Graham, who also will file a new fundraising report, had raised more than $7 million as of late last year.

Bright picks up endorsement

State Sen. Lee Bright has picked up an endorsement from a first-term U.S. representative from Texas who walked out of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address and is talking about pushing for Obama’s impeachment.

U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, said he is endorsing Bright in his bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, according to an email from Stockman’s campaign.

“He’s a proven conservative who understands the proper limited role of government,” Stockman wrote.

Stockman – like Bright – also is running for U.S. Senate. He is one of seven Republicans attempting to beat U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in that state’s GOP primary.

Scott, others to honor Reconstruction-era senators

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-Charleston, is hosting a discussion featuring current and former African-American U.S. senators Feb. 25 in Washington, his office announced.

Scott will join Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and former Sens. Carol Moseley Braun, D-Ill., Roland Burris, D-Ill., and William “Mo” Cowan, D-Mass., for “Honoring our Past and Celebrating our Future: Discussing Personal Journeys and a Nation’s Progress with America’s Black Senators.”

Other former living African-American senators – President Barack Obama and Edward Brooke, R-Mass. – also were invited.

The group also will honor Reconstruction-era black Sens. Hiram Rhodes Revels and Blanche Kelso Bruce, both Republicans from Mississippi.

Scott became South Carolina’s first black U.S. senator last year after he was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Jim DeMint.

Retired judge to run for S.C. House

Gary Clary, a retired Circuit Court judge, plans to run for the Republican nomination for a state House seat in Pickens County that is opening with Rep. B.R. Skelton’s retirement.

Clary, 66, is running for office for the first time. He sat on the bench from 1992-2002 and worked as assistant general counsel at Extended Stay America before becoming a litigation consultant and mediator.

Staff writers Jamie Self and Andrew Shain contributed.

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