The Buzz

Ted Cruz names S.C. leadership team for 2016 race

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz speaks with John McLean at the South Carolina Republican Silver Elephant dinner at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center last week.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz speaks with John McLean at the South Carolina Republican Silver Elephant dinner at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center last week. jblake@thestate.com

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has named a grassroots leadership team in South Carolina for his 2016 Republican presidential bid.

His campaign named three co-chairs — State Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg; State Rep. Bill Chumley, R-Spartanburg; and former Dorchester Sheriff Ray Nash, according to a copy of a letter obtained by The State.

Bright ran for the U.S. Senate last year against incumbent Republican Lindsey Graham but lost in the primary. Cruz’s grassroots team also includes another candidate who failed to unseat Graham, Orangeburg attorney Bill Connor.

The letter notes that many Cruz grassroots members were involved in former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s surprise win in the 2012 S.C. GOP presidential primary. Some members also worked with other presidential campaigns, including Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann.

“Our campaign relies on bringing together a broad coalition of Republican voters, many of whom feel abandoned by party leaders in Washington,” Cruz S.C. campaign director LaDonna Ryggs wrote in the letter. “Make no mistake: the attacks are coming. The political elites in Washington are desperately afraid of a candidate that upsets the status quo.”

Cruz’s S.C. team includes:

Paul Anderko, Rock Hill

Javan Browder, Greenville

Debbie and Stephen Brown, Greenville

Renee Cannon, North Charleston

Sandy Chiong, Lugoff

Bill Connor, Orangeburg

Scott Cooper, Edgefield

Cheryl and Allen Cuthrell, Piedmont

Patsy and Vic Dabney, Camden

Kim Demer, Camden

Nse Ekpo, Irmo

Andrew Geer, Charleston

The Rev. Mike Gonzalez, Columbia

Conway Ivy, Beaufort

Monica Kidd, Mt. Pleasant

Elizabeth and Jay Kilmartin, Columbia

K.C. and Cherie Lombard, Johns Island

Steven Long, Boiling Springs

Susan E. Moore, Charleston

Lou and Patrick Nolan, Columbia

Mark Palmer, Rock Hill

Mary Pearson, Summerville

Alan Ray, Chapin

Robert Ryggs, Greer

Jarred Spencer, Cowpens

Janet Spencer, North Myrtle Beach

Teri Sullivan, Aiken

DeeDee and Bauer Vaughters, Aiken

Lisa and Chip Watson, Spartanburg

Leah Whatley, Charleston

Michelle Wiles, Duncan/Pickens

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