Secretary of State candidate Ginny Deerin is the underdog to watch Nov. 4, The Buzz thinks.
On Wednesday, Deerin hit the road on a bicycle trek from Spartanburg to Columbia, hoping to call attention to the commute that Republican Secretary of State Mark Hammond makes in his state-owned car from his home to his office.
“People would be so curious,” Deerin said. “A couple of little boys waved.”
To others, she’d call out, “Hey! I'm running for secretary of state!”
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Deerin’s two-wheeled tour — taking breaks from pedaling to attend campaign events – is not the only unconventional strategy she is taking in her effort to unseat Republican Hammond of Spartanburg, who is seeking his fourth term.
Deerin, a Sullivan’s Island Democrat, picked up the first endorsement the fiscally conservative S.C. Club for Growth ever has given a Democrat. She also has a list of prominent Republicans lining up to support her, including state Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, Board of Economic Advisors Chairman Chad Waldorf, and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Fred Dent.
Deerin has raised about $50,000, which leaves her short of the money that would be needed to beam her message through televisions across the state.
That doesn’t seem like much, but Hammond has raised and spent about half Deerin’s total. Still, Hammond has about $40,000 in the bank, including money carried over from a previous campaign. He also has the benefit of the “R” behind his name in a mostly red state.
Deerin says her campaign is gaining momentum. And she says she is getting good feedback, riding her bike with a baby trailer decorated in cutouts of scissors meant to show she is ready to cut waste.
Deerin recalled one conversation she had on the road.
“One guy said, ‘I've never met a candidate who's running for statewide office.’ ”
Ravenel deletes ‘two-faced’ tweet
U.S. Senate candidate Thomas Ravenel (a.k.a. Bravo “Southern Charm” reality-television star, new father and felon) may not be racking up cash or support in his bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham Nov. 4.
But the former state treasurer, who resigned and pleaded guilty to cocaine charges, has been collecting police reports and, well, awkward moments.
Charleston police are investigating Ravenel on allegations he assaulted his girlfriend’s stylist in his downtown home — after slipping and falling into the pool with his 7-month-old baby.
The stylist alleged — in the second police report filed against Ravenel in the final weeks of his campaign — that she was walking behind him into the house when he slammed the door shut, knocking her down some steps and into the bushes. This was after Ravenel pulled the baby out of the pool and handed her to his girlfriend.
Ravenel may have had his mind elsewhere that night, according to a tweet he sent out late Friday night, accusing U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, a fellow Charlestonian, of being “two-faced” for campaigning with Graham.
“@Thomasravenel: Two-faced Mark Sanford who is supposedly for liMited government is out campaigning for statist big govt Graham”
Ravenel deleted the tweet 16 hours later, according to Politwoops, a website that captures politicians’ deleted tweets.
Ravenel said in a statement that, “upon reflection,” he deleted the tweet “because I support Mark’s principles of limited government and reigning in our out-of-control spending” which is “burying our children under a sea of debt.”
Ravenel went on to say “the two-party ruling elite is the problem, and ... while Mark should be called out on this, he should not be singled out.”
(The first police report filed against Ravenel in the final weeks of the campaign came from blogger Will Folks, who has written favorably about Ravenel, until recently, on FITNews. Ravenel’s campaign also has paid FITSNews more than $14,000 for “advertising,” according to federal campaign filings.)
Draw the line at name-calling
The state’s Republican leaders are fighting to protect the state’s same-sex marriage ban, which denies gay couples the same rights as straight couples.
But when it comes to treating people differently, there is a line that can be crossed.
And Anthony Culler, the Republican who has launched a hopeless campaign against 6th District U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., has crossed it.
Last week, Culler compared same-sex marriage advocates to “the worst gremlin outbreak we’ve seen in 30 years.”
Culler’s chances of beating Clyburn are microscopic. But S.C. Republican Liberty Caucus chairman Daniel Encarnacion wants Culler out of the race entirely.
“This guy is so out of touch!” Encarnacion wrote on Facebook, announcing he would run as a write-in candidate. “For the record, I'm a pro-life, Christian, constitutional conservative who believes in being respectful of others and not calling groups of people ‘gremlins.’ ”
S.C. GOP Chairman Matt Moore also weighed in.
“Most people learned in kindergarten not to call other people names,” Moore said. “Our party believes in the conservative definition of marriage, but we also believe in loving our neighbors and treating them with respect.”
Not too early to test the trail – Two potential White House hopefuls hit the Palmetto State last week, stopping short of declaring their intentions to run for president in 2016. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., joined U.S. Sen. Tim Scott at an S.C. GOP fundraiser in Columbia. Rubio noted it was the same place that Jim DeMint brought him to raise money for his first Senate campaign. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush attended campaign events in Greenville and Lexington with Gov. Nikki Haley Thursday.
New third party gets TV debate debut – The American Party’s Jill Bossi of Tega Cay will represent the new third party in its first statewide televised debate Tuesday on ETV. Bossi is challenging Republican Scott and Democrat Joyce Dickerson to finish the two-year unexpired U.S. Senate term vacated by DeMint, who resigned in 2012 to become head of the Heritage Foundation.