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In a very anticipated primary on Tuesday, South Carolina voters will go to the polls to choose Republican candidates for two US Senate seats and two contested congressional seats- one held by a Democrat and one held by an incumbent Republican.
The 2nd Congressional district stretches from Columbia to the Georgia border and is represented by GOP incumbent Joe Wilson. Wilson is notorious for his “You Lie!” statement during an Obama State of the Union Address. While the Left cried foul and “Oh my gosh…he didn’t just say that?,” one has to ask now whether the statement was really that off the mark. Wilson should get kudos for openly saying then what we all suspected and what we all know now. In the House, there are very few of his peers to the right of Wilson ideologically.
Wilson’s opponent in the primary will be Eddie McCain, a frequent candidate and libertarian activist. Given the fact that this district is rated +14 Republican by Cook and I rate it higher than that, and given the dearth of Democratic opposition, this writer sees no reason why Joe Wilson should not be returned to Congress.
In the 6th, Leon Winn will take on Anthony Culler in the primary to oppose Jim Clyburn, the Democratic incumbent who faces his own primary challenge. Clyburn is described as a middle-of-the-road, follower of Pelosi-type of Democrat. This is one of those majority-minority districts and the biggest knock on Clyburn, if I were arguing this from the Democratic side, is that he is entrenched having been in this position since 1993.
As strong as the 2nd is Republican, the 6th is about that strong for the Democrats so unseating Clyburn will be a difficult task. I hate to say this, but it is pertinent in this district: Leon Winn is the right skin color. It is pretty hard to come by definitive statements on their positions on certain topics, but from everything this writer has read, his opponent- Anthony Culler- seems just a little too enthralled with entitlements to take too seriously. Therefore, this writer would endorse Leon Winn fully aware that they will likely lose in the general election. Thus, there is nothing to lose here.
Speaking of serious African-American conservatives, perhaps very few come near Tim Scott whom Governor Nikki Haley appointed to fill out the term of retired Senator Jim DeMint. This is a man who has been belittled by the Leftist community and by civil rights “leaders.” He will face Randall Young in the primary whose last run for political office for a vacant seat in the state lower house ended in dismal defeat. Other than that run, there is precious little on Young. One has to question his motivation for taking on Scott in the first place. Hence, the endorsement solidly goes to Tim Scott.
And in the other Senate race, incumbent Republican Lindsey Graham will face six challengers. Graham is a frequent whipping boy here at Redstate and other conservative websites. In many ways, this race reminds me of the one in Kentucky. Initially, the incumbent had a huge target on their back and more conservative candidates were emerging to take them on. Like Kentucky, there was this initial excitement and some polling to indicate that the incumbent would face a serious challenge in the primary. I am afraid that the results in South Carolina will mimic those in Kentucky. The best bet for any challenger is to force Graham into a runoff two weeks later.
The thing that annoys me about people like Lindsey Graham, McConnell and John McCain (to name three) is that every six years they try to tout their conservative credentials, then when they get back to Washington, they act “unconservative-” not liberal, mind you, just not what I believe a conservative is. They are hypocrites. So looking at his primary opposition:
Det Bowers- formerly a state Democratic Party Chairman leading me to not trust him. I have a problem with people switching parties, especially when they were in a position of power in the opposition party. There are exceptions to the rule, but Bowers is not one of them.
State senator Lee Bright is also running. He would likely be a conservative upgrade over Graham. However, the fact that personal financial disclosure statements show him owing over $1.4 million and running as a “fiscal conservative” leaves some questions and doubt in one’s mind. This will likely be a distraction in a general election campaign.
The third option is pastor and 2010 candidate Richard Cash. Cash has been arrested at least ten times for protesting outside abortion clinics. If this race was to be decided on the abortion issue, then Cash may be your man. If Wendy Davis is a one-trick pony in Texas, Cash is her alter ego in South Carolina. This is not meant to minimize his beliefs, but abortion alone may win a congressional district, but not a statewide race.
Former 2010 Lt. Governor candidate Bill Connor is also in the mix and has been very vocal in his opposition to Graham. Thus far, he is the most open on his positions also. But then again, so is attorney and war veteran Benjamin Dunn.
That leaves businesswoman and author Nancy Mace whose policy prescriptions are ambiguous, but they sound great in general terms. The problem here is that not a single one of these candidates has gained traction against Graham. The only one that may have is Lee Bright, but his personal financial situation hangs over his candidacy. If I had to bet should there be a runoff, it would be between Bright and Graham, but then Bright’s fundraising to date has left a lot to be desired.
Given the choices, their positions, their fundraising to date (they will never match Graham), and their general resumes, this writer is going will Bill Connor over Lindsey Graham fully aware of the fact that Graham will like likely win and we will have to survive another six years of his face on television. Just forcing him into a runoff, however, could be considered a “victory.”