The Buzz

April 11, 2014

Det Bowers taps top Santorum presidential campaign advisers

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to thebuzz@thestate.com.

U.S. Senate hopeful Det Bowers has tapped two top campaign advisers for Republican Rick Santorum's 2012 White House run.

Mike Biundo and Andrew Boucher were national campaign manager and political director for the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, who finished third in South Carolina's 2012 GOP presidential preference primary, earning 17 percent of the vote.

Biundo also served as national deputy coalition director for former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Bowers, a Columbia pastor, has hired Biundo's New Hampshire-based RightOn Strategies and Boucher's Charleston-based Boucher Strategies for his general consulting team.

Bowers is one of six Republicans running in June's GOP primary against U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham. Bowers raised more than $417,000 since entering the race in February, more than any of Graham's other challengers has reported raising in any quarter.

Santorum, who is considering a second run at the White House, will visit South Carolina next week, including stops at two private fundraisers in Charleston and Columbia.

But Bowers' campaign said it currently has no plans to meet the former U.S. senator, who raised nearly $200,000 in South Carolina and $22.7 million nationally for his presidential bid.

Graham had $7.6 million to spend at the end of 2013. Campaign finance reports for January through March are due next week.

Bowers' campaign interviewed about 12 consultants before going with Biundo and Boucher's firms, which will bring experience running a national campaign to the Senate race, said Bowers' son, Joel Bowers.

"It was difficult finding a general consultant considering who Senator Graham is and people not wanting to step on his toes or the NRSC's (National Republican Senatorial Committee) toes," he said.

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