Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and his Democratic opponent in November, state Sen. Brad Hutto, have agreed to participate in a S.C. Chamber of Commerce forum later this month, a Chamber spokeswoman said.
The two lawmakers will participate in a discussion with statewide business leaders at noon on Oct. 27 in Columbia, Chamber spokeswoman Julie Scott said. Scott opposes raising the federal minimum wage, saying he would rather businesses choose to raise their wages when they become more profitable.
Graham and Hutto’s other opponents in the Nov. 4 election – Libertarian Victor Kocher and petition candidate Thomas Ravenel –were not invited to the Chamber event.
Scott said the Chamber has "always been focused on the two major parties in the state, so keeping with that spirit," only Graham and Hutto were invited to the noon event in Columbia. "We believe the winner will come from one of the major parties in South Carolina," she said.
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Ravenel, star of Bravo’s “Southern Charm” reality television show and an ex-S.C. treasurer who served time for a felony cocaine charge, debated Hutto Monday on S.C. ETV. Graham declined an invitation to participate in the debate.
The Chamber’s invite-only event will not be televised, but will be open to media who want to cover it, Scott said.