Money isn’t always enough.
Just ask former Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who raised nearly $1.2 million in his failed quest to win a seat in Congress, nearly half of which he loaned his campaign.
Despite an almost 2-1 advantage in money, Bauer lost last month’s GOP primary to represent the new 7th District in Congress to Horry County Council chairman Tom Rice. Rice raised a little more than half of what Bauer did, $680,000, including $100,000 that Rice loaned his campaign.
Now, Rice and his Democratic opponent in November, Gloria Bromell Tinubu, have to start all over again, raising money. Together, they exited their June runoff victories with only about $10,000 on hand, according to quarterly financial disclosure forms that congressional candidates were required to file this week.
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A member of Congress is paid $174,000 a year.
“Andre would have made a great congressman, a good public servant,” said Scott Malyerck, Bauer’s campaign manager, adding it is unknown what Bauer will do next. “You can be sure, no matter what he does, he’ll be working 12-hour days — whether that’s working in politics or in his businesses or out in the community.”
Most of Bauer’s contributions came from S.C. donors.
He received nearly $18,000 from political action committees, including money from BlueCross BlueShield, the JM Family Enterprises diversified automotive company and Zuffa PAC, the political arm of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s parent company, Zuffa LLC. (Ultimate fighting is a full-contact, mixed-martial arts league.)
Rice received $8,500 from political action committees, including the Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough law firm as well as the GOP leadership PAC, Help America’s Leaders.
Tinubu, the winner of the Democratic primary who faces off with Rice in November, raised nearly $340,000, nearly $266,000 of which the Coastal Carolina University instructor loaned to her campaign.
Tinubu received $5,000 from a national union of electrical workers and relied heavily on individual donations from Georgia, where she lived and was a Georgia House member before returning to her native state of South Carolina last year.
Anne Beser, Tinubu’s political consultant, credited a solid ground game that motivated Democrats to go to the polls for Tinubu’s runoff victory over Preston Brittain. “Money is only part of the equation,” she said.
Brittain raised nearly $627,000 including a $35,000 loan to his campaign.
U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, a Columbia Democrat, not only endorsed Brittain but gave him $5,000 from his Bridge PAC.
Both Tinubu and Rice need to be in full fund-raising mode. After the June runoffs, Rice had nearly $9,000 left in his campaign account while Tinubu had only about $1,100.
“It’s a swing district, but it leans Republican,” said Walter Whetsell, a campaign consultant for Rice. “We’re out meeting voters and raising money. The campaign continues.”