COLUMBIA, SC — Former S.C. Treasurer Thomas Ravenel says he will be on the next season of Bravo’s “Southern Charm” reality television show.
The 51-year-old Charleston developer and likely U.S. Senate candidate changed his mind after saying he would not appear again on the show, he announced Tuesday, a day after he filed a petition to run as an independent candidate against Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of Seneca.
Ravenel’s petition had more than 16,000 signatures. He needs 10,000 certified signatures, currently being reviewed, to make the ballot.
“I struggled with this decision (whether to return to ‘Southern Charm’) in light of the political campaign I am undertaking,” Ravenel said in a statement.
“Ultimately, it came down to this: It doesn’t make sense to turn down a platform that enables you to spread your ideas to a bigger, more diverse audience. If America is ever going to turn things around, we’ve got to get rid of this notion that cookie-cutter politicians with their blemish-free backgrounds are the way to go.
“The truth is those are the very politicians who are driving this country into a ditch. That’s never been who Thomas Ravenel is – and so owning a part of my life that doesn’t fit the typical political mold is fine by me.”
A Bravo spokesman would not confirm any details about who will appear in the show.
While state treasurer in 2007, Ravenel was indicted on federal cocaine charges. He entered a guilty plea and resigned, serving 10 months in prison.
Ravenel also pleaded guilty last year to driving while intoxicated in the Hamptons in New York. His driver’s license was suspended for six months.
Most recently, Ravenel and his girlfriend, Kathryn Dennis – who also appeared on “Southern Charm” – had a daughter.