SC politics: Gun group backs two of Graham’s challengers

February 26, 2014 

Lee Bright

Gun group backs two of Graham’s challengers

Two of U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s challengers in June’s Republican Party primary announced endorsements from a national gun group this week, but one has an edge on the group’s support.

State Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, and Charleston public relations executive Nancy Mace announced endorsements from the National Association for Gun Rights.

“The right to keep and bear arms is a part of the foundation to our free society and should be protected at every turn,” Mace said in a news release. “My father was a decorated combat veteran and lifelong hunter, who taught me how to handle a firearm at an early age. Hunting trips with my father provided priceless memories, but our 2nd Amendment rights have a deeper purpose than sport and the right to defend our homes and property. We have a duty as a free people to protect against tyranny.”

Bright announced his endorsement in a campaign email that included comments from Dudley Brown, the group’s executive director:

“I’m flat-out fed up with Lindsey Graham’s betrayals,” Brown writes. “That’s a major reason why the National Association for Gun Rights PAC just sent Lee Bright a fat check. We’ve also sent checks in smaller amounts to two other challengers. ... But there’s no denying Senator Lee Bright has gone a step further and deserves special recognition.”

Brown praised Bright’s support for a Constitutional Carry bill. That bill recently stalled in a Senate committee after senators pointed out consequences of the bill – including allowing convicted terrorists to carry weapons -- that Bright had not realized.

“He’s also proven that he’s unafraid to stand up to members of his own Republican Party when they’re wrong – something that’s very rare to find,” Brown wrote.

Jamie Self

4 new precincts added in Lexington County

Lexington County election officials plan to start using four new precincts in the June primary ballot after the Legislature signed off on the addition Wednesday.

New precincts are River Bluff on the east edge of the town of Lexington and Carolina Springs, Platt Springs 1 and Platt Springs 2, all in the Red Bank area.

Boundaries also were adjusted for three precincts in the rural western edge of the county and two others near Chapin.

The addition is necessary to keep pace with growth, officials said. Overall, the county has 96 precincts for 165,000 voters.

Notices letting affected voters know of the changes will be sent in early spring, county elections director Dean Crepes said.

Tim Flach

Bill limiting pollution suits passes House

Property owners would lose the right to sue for cleanup of long-standing industrial pollution under a bill approved Wednesday by the S.C. House of Representatives.

The House voted 80-30 to close what supporters said was a loophole in a 2012 law intended to stop citizen lawsuits against polluters. Opponents said the House’s action could erode further the rights of the public to halt pollution when state agencies don’t enforce the law.

The vote broke down on party lines. No Republicans opposed the bill, with eight Democrats supporting it. The bill now goes to the Senate, where prospects of passage are less certain.

Sammy Fretwell

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