About 60 people came out to hear opponents of U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham speak at a political forum in Rock Hill on Tuesday.
State Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, Easley businessman Richard Cash and Orangeburg attorney Bill Connor attended the event. Graham and Charleston PR executive Nancy Mace were invited but did not attend, organizers said.
The forum was sponsored by GPS Conservatives for Action, a Tea Party grassroots political action committee organizing against Graham.
The forum was the first opportunity for Bright, Cash and Connor to share their stories on the same stage and say how they are different.
Bright said he was the only candidate with experience holding elected office and had a record of pushing conservative principles.
"I'm like a pit bull," he said, adding that pit bulls grab on and don't let go. "I'll fight for your gun rights, religious freedoms, fight for the unborn and I'll fight for your tax dollars," he said.
Cash described himself as social conservative with a history of anti-abortion activism who will stand up for the nation’s religious and constitutional values.
Cash elicited the most laughs all night during a discussion of the challenges facing Social Security as baby boomers retire and fewer workers are their to support them.
Acknowledging the low birth-rate problem in the United States, Cash, who has eight children, said, “I just want to say, I’ve done my part.”
And Connor said that as a U.S. Army veteran, he’s the only one of the challengers facing U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham in June’s GOP primary who can go toe-to-toe with Graham in the foreign policy arena.
He also cast himself as willing to say what he thinks regardless of political correctness.
One such idea? "Women do not belong in the infantry."