Thomas Ravenel files petition for US Senate seat in SC

Posted by JAMIE SELF on July 15, 2014 

  • Follow us on social media

    The Buzz on Twitter

    The State on Google Plus

    The Buzz on Facebook

  • Independent files petition to run against Tim Scott

    Brandon Christina Armstrong, a Mount Pleasant painting contractor, filed a petition Monday with 12,595 signatures to run for U.S. Senate as an independent.

    If certified as a candidate, Armstrong will run for the seat held by U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-Charleston.

    Also seeking the seat are Democratic nominee Richland County Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson and American Party candidate Jill Bossi of Tega Cay. November’s special election is to fill the two years left on the six-year term of Jim DeMint, who resigned, leading to Scott’s appointment.

    Bravo renews ‘Southern Charm’

    Bravo TV is ready to bring on another season of “Southern Charm.”

    However, the second season of the Charleston-shot reality series will not feature Thomas Ravenel, the controversial former state treasurer.

    The show’s renewal was announced by Bravo TV executives and first reported in The Wrap.

    Ravenel, who filed papers to run for the U.S. Senate Monday, previously said neither he nor his girlfriend, Kathryn Dennis, would appear on any second season.

    The two drove the first season’s narrative, revealing the birth of a daughter after the final episode aired in the spring.

Reality-TV star and former S.C. treasurer Thomas Ravenel filed a petition Monday to run for the U.S. Senate as an independent.

Ravenel, of Charleston, submitted 16,469 signatures to the S.C. Election Commission on Monday. He needs 10,000 certified signatures from S.C. registered voters to make the ballot. The certification process will take about a month, an election official said.

If certified, Ravenel will join the ballot with incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of Seneca, Democratic nominee state Sen. Brad Hutto of Orangeburg, and Libertarian Victor Kocher of Columbia in November’s general election.

Ravenel ran for U.S. Senate in 2004 as a Republican, finishing third out of six candidates in the GOP primary. In 2006, he was elected state treasurer. In 2007, however, he resigned after pleading guilty to felony cocaine charges.

More recently, Ravenel has been a star on “Southern Charm,” a Bravo reality-television show filmed in Charleston, and announced that he and his girlfriend have a baby daughter.

He also pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in Long Island, N.Y., earlier this year and had his license suspended for six months.

Ravenel said he would provide voters with a “true choice in November, not a false choice between two ... parties that have been bought and paid for, that are ideologically alike.”

Asked by a reporter if voters can trust him, Ravenel said, “I’ve done a lot of repeat business with people because they trust me, and I’ve paid my debts.

“In the business community, I have a sterling record,” he said. “I know I’m an imperfect messenger, but my personal life is my problem. Lindsey Graham’s public life is your problem.”

Ravenel said he would fight for limited government, “real spending cuts, tax cuts, market-based reforms so that we can redefine our relationship with government and ask not what our government can do for us, but what we can do for ourselves.”

The S.C. Republican Party immediately attacked Ravenel’s candidacy.

“We doubt many voters will be interested in a convicted felon who renounced his American citizenship,” said Matt Orr, press secretary of the S.C. GOP. “His so-called ‘campaign’ is an embarrassment, and the people of South Carolina don't appreciate it one bit.”

In a 2011 Facebook post, Ravenel said he was going to leave the United States because, as a felon, he could no longer own a gun. Monday, Ravenel called the threat to give up his citizenship a joke and said he loves the United States.

“I’m not going to leave this country,” he said.

S.C. law prevents felons from running for state office, but there is no prohibition for federal candidates.

Ravenel received a warmer welcome from the other challengers for the Senate seat.

“We welcome anyone with serious ideas to the race, and look forward to debating the issues that matter,” said Lachlan McIntosh, Democrat Hutto’s campaign manager. “Lindsey Graham loves being a Washington big shot, but he's lost touch with folks in South Carolina. It appears voters will have several choices with whom to replace him with come November.”

“I know that Thomas has expressed a desire to discuss issues from the perspective of liberty and I welcome that,” said Libertarian Kocher. “Voters in an election, just like consumers in the economy, deserve the widest possible array of competitive choices.”

Graham’s campaign did not talk about Monday’s events. Graham has $3.7 million in his campaign accounts after spending almost $7 million to beat six other candidates outright in the Republican primary.

The State is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service