Wild card candidates on the 2014 ballot

07/27/2014 12:00 AM

07/27/2014 12:01 AM

Wild card candidates on the 2014 ballot

There are 13 S.C. third-party or independent candidates on the November ballot for statewide or federal offices in South Carolina. A look at who they are:


Tom Ervin, petition candidate

Age: 62

Occupation: Attorney, radio station owner

Residence: Greenville

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Erskine College; law degree, University of South Carolina

Political experience: S.C. House of Representatives, 1979-83, as a Democrat; ran for the state House unsuccessfully in 2005 as a Republican

Key issues: Wants to address road needs by increasing the gas tax. Also, says he would repeal the state personal income tax, supports locking in college student tuition at the rate charged when a student enrolls and reform the state’s ethics laws

Steve French, Libertarian

Age: 34

Occupation: Small business owner

Residence: Charleston

Education: Attended N.C. State University

Political experience: None

Key issues: Supports abolishing the state income tax and a statewide full school-choice program. Also, supports legalizing marijuana, marriage equality, sustainable energy and government transparency

Morgan Bruce Reeves, United Citizens

Age: 55

Occupation: Owns a construction company

Residence: Winnsboro

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Michigan State University; master’s and doctorate degrees, Institute for Christian Works

Political experience: Ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2010 as the Green Party and United Citizens candidate; ran unsuccessfully for Lexington-Richland 5 school board in 2008

Key issues: Legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use. Also, wants to link homeless people with churches and help fund some church programs through the state budget

Superintendent of education

Ed Murray, American

Age: 57

Residence: West Columbia

Occupation: Athletics director and assistant principal, Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School

Education: Bachelor’s degree, California State University, Sacramento; master’s, University of Texas at Arlington; master’s, National University

Political experience: None

Key issues: Provide more choice within the public school system, keep some elements of Common Core, address teacher recruitment and retention

Commissioner of agriculture

Emile DeFelice, American

Age: 47

Occupation: Operated Soda City Market in Columbia for 10 years; farmer

Residence: Columbia

Education: Two bachelor’s degrees, Emory University; master’s degree, University of South Carolina

Political experience: Ran unsuccessfully for commissioner of agriculture in 2006 as a Democrat

Key issues: Restructure the Department of Agriculture and reduce its budget, maximize the State Farmers Market by first addressing empty space

David Edmond, United Citizens

Age: 52

Occupation: Ordained minister

Residence: Columbia

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Allen University

Political experience: Ran unsuccessfully three times for Richland 1 school district; also, unsuccessful runs for school board and local council in the Batesburg-Leesville area

Key issues: Attract businesses to the state that use S.C. crops after they are harvested such as canning companies, explore alternative fuel, research ways to cure major illnesses

U.S. Senate

Victor Kocher, Libertarian

Running for seat now held by Lindsey Graham

Age: 51

Occupation: Owner and manager of Palmetto Gold and Pawn for 28 years; recently got out of the business to run his campaign.

Education: Bachelor’s and master’s degrees, West Virginia University

Political experience: Ran for U.S. Senate in 2002 and previously run for the state House

Key issues: Hold bureaucracies accountable and transition to sales tax from income tax

Thomas Ravenel, petition

Running for seat now held by Lindsey Graham

Age: 51

Occupation: Charleston businessman, star in “Southern Charm” TV reality show

Residence: Edisto Island

Education: Graduate, The Citadel

Political experience: Unsuccessfully ran for GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in 2004; elected S.C. treasurer in 2006, a post he held for less than a year before resigning after cocaine charges

Key issues: Supports more liberties, reduced government, and foreign policy based on restraint, where military force is used only when absolutely necessary to protect direct U.S. interests

U.S Senate

Unexpired term of Jim DeMint, seat now held by Tim Scott

Brandon Armstrong, petition

Age: 55

Occupation: Has worked restoring homes and buildings for 30 years

Education: Armstrong said she had college and legal degrees but would not say where from

Residence: Charleston

Political experience: None

Key issues: Term limits, involving more women in government

Jill Bossi, American

Age: 55

Occupation: Former supply chain management executive at the American Red Cross, quit job to run for office

Residence: Tega Cay

Education: Attended five different colleges while working as a single parent and, ultimately, completed a degree from the University of Phoenix

Political experience: None

Key issues: Supports term limits and working to create a balanced budget; wants to bring back middle-class jobs and a fair, flat tax

U.S. House District 2

Seat held by Joe Wilson

Harold Geddings III, Labor

Age: 36

Occupation: Union sheet metal worker,

Residence: Barnwell

Education: Attended, Erskine College; political science degree, USC Upstate

Political experience: Worked as a field organizer, starting out in college working for Democrat Inez Tenenbaum‘s unsuccessful Senate bid; also, worked for governor and congressional candidates in New Mexico

Key issues: Advocate for livable wages, student loan reform and exploring green energy, which Geddings said is an opportunity for the district.

U.S. House District 4

Seat held by Trey Gowdy

Curtis E. McLaughlin, Libertarian

Age: 25

Occupation: Software consultant

Residence: Greenville

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Clemson University

Political experience: None

Key issues: Reduce defense spending and overseas involvement, legalize all drugs at the federal level and get the federal government out of education

U.S. House District 6

Seat held by Jim Clyburn

Kevin R. Umbaugh, Libertarian

Age: 48

Occupation: Senior military analyst, Alion Science and Technology

Residence: Sumter

Education: Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy

Political experience: None

Key issues: Job creation and attracting jobs to the U.S., decreasing the size of government and getting rid of the personal income tax

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