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ELECTION 2014: Det Bowers working with Ted Cruz supporter in unseating Lindsey Graham

03/02/2014 8:58 AM

03/02/2014 9:14 AM

A Columbia pastor, retired attorney and former Democratic operative who is seeking to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has made an ally in a political group that says it helped Texas tea party hero Ted Cruz rise from obscurity in 2012 to win a U.S. Senate seat.

Republican Det Bowers, 61, quietly has been fundraising to run against Graham in June’s GOP primary. Bowers, one of a half-dozen GOP primary challengers to the two-term Seneca incumbent, said he plans to announce his candidacy formally before the end of the first quarter of this year.

If Bowers follows through and files for the Senate race in March, he can expect an endorsement and financial boost from the Washington, D.C.,-based Madison Project, which says it was the first outside political group to endorse Cruz for U.S. Senate.

Cruz’s Texas GOP primary runoff win stunned many and was aided by nearly $4 million in outside spending. It included no independent expenditures from Madison Project. But Cruz’s campaign did use voter-targeting applications that Madison Project’s political director Drew Ryun helped develop. Now, office holders like Cruz and U.S. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah – whom the Madison Project also backed – are giving hope to ultra-conservatives looking to beat GOP incumbents.

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A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to Follow The Buzz @buzzatthestate. Follow Cassie @cassielcope. Follow Jamie @jamiemself. Follow Andy @andyshain.

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