Politics & Government

New candidate in SC Congress race; another drops out

Les Murphy
Les Murphy Provided

One candidate has joined the race for South Carolina's 5th District congressional seat, and another has offered an endorsement to a challenger in the race to replace Mick Mulvaney in Congress.

Les Murphy announced his candidacy over the weekend. The Indian Land Marine veteran works with the non-profit Carolina Veterans Commission.

Murphy is the third Democrat to enter the race. His own announcement notes that he’s a “political unknown,” but says his eight years in the Marine Corps and work with the veteran community could make him a “potential favorite” with military voters.

Also over the weekend, Republican candidate Penry Gustafson dropped out of the race for the GOP nomination, instead endorsing the American Party candidate Josh Thornton, a Rock Hill educator.

Gustafson said she thought running as a Republican would be the only viable way to win in South Carolina, but ultimately decided the small, centrist American Party was a better fit for her moderate beliefs.

“The American Party addresses our growing political dysfunction and offers more choices for the voting public,” Gustafson’s announcement said.

The Republican and Democratic primaries will be on May 2, and voters will pick their congressman in a special election June 20.