State Rep. Joshua Putnam, R-Anderson, is running for secretary of state, hoping to replace fellow Republican Mark Hammond.
But you would not know that by looking at state ethics filings, where candidates disclose their campaign fundraising and spending.
Putnam hasn’t reported any activity. Why not?
Putnam held a news conference at the State House in May, announcing his candidacy. His new campaign sign was tacked on the podium. He has Facebook and Twitter accounts for his run.
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State law requires candidates for public office to report any money raised or spent on a campaign once their expenses or donations reach $500. But Putnam says he has yet to reach that threshold.
“I haven’t received a single check,” said Putnam.
The 28-year-old added he hasn’t received a bill for signs he has ordered, so he hasn’t written a check yet either. When he gets the bill, he’ll file with state ethics officials, Putnam said. “You’ll probably see me donate $500 to the campaign.”
Putnam said he has run his own campaigns and does most of the work himself. A graphic designer with a marketing background, he said he designed his own logo, for example. “We’re very shoestring. Once we start raising money, we’ll start spending money,” he said.
Putnam said his campaign activity has been limited to social media lately. Meanwhile, he is spending time with his wife, two sons and a newborn daughter and making some money, after the end of the recent legislative session.
Next up for Putnam? Fundraisers he is planning for this fall in Anderson, Charleston, Columbia and Greenville. The Republican’s goal is to raise $250,000 for his bid.
Putnam, who has decided not to seek re-election to his S.C. House seat, said he is running for secretary of state because he wants to be an advocate for small businesses.
In the House, Putnam introduced a bill to require universities to post online misconduct violation by fraternities and sororities. That bill – a response to the death of Clemson student Tucker Hipps of Anderson County – became law.
Putnam also proposed allowing some educators, with training, to carry guns in schools. That bill, which did not pass, came after the slaying of 6-year-old Jacob Hall at an Anderson County school.