Shell Suber, former Richland County GOP chair, will join the Lindsey Graham re-election campaign Monday as political director.
Crack sleuth that I am, I learned this today by a judicious application of blind, dumb luck.
I was working on a column for Sunday about Lindsey Graham and the fallout from the immigration debate. Naturally, I called Katon Dawson, since there’s all that talk about folks wanting him to challenge the senator.
Actually, technically, I called party HQ, and they were going to call Katon and ask him to call me back. Which he didn’t do. Make what you will of that.
So I was trying to think of some other party activists. I had spoken to two who had given me all kinds of nifty quotes, but not for attribution. Sensitive subject, you know. One of them said Graham was right about racism underlying much of the anger over immigration, and that his big mistake was that "Lindsey said it out loud." I asked him whether it would be too specific to attribute that to "a leading Republican activist who’s too chicken—- to say it out loud." He said that would be fine, because it stated the case.
Anyway, I went through this free-association thing, thinking "Katon Dawson, state chair … no call back … how about a local party chair? … who’s the Richland County chair? … I know who used to be the Richland County chair…," so I called Shell. Very scientific. (Another association: I first met both Katon and Shell at the 2004 GOP convention in New York, back in my "Rolling Stone" days. That’s Shell on the last night of the convention, with the balloons.)
Shell didn’t call me back before I finished the column, but he was tempted to call me back and go on about what a great guy Lindsey is, and let me use it, and then find out on Monday about his new job. But he’s too nice a guy for that.
Anyway, he’ll be the fourth paid staffer. He’ll be reporting to Campaign Manager Scott Farmer, who is the one campaign worker to have stayed on all this time since 2002. He’s been, needless to say, raising money.
Shell has spent the last two years over at the State House as a lobbyist, working with Capitol Consultants. He had quit the county chairmanship to take that job. He’s hoping this new gig will at least last through November 2008.
I tried, with little hope, to get him talking about possible opposition, but he said he couldn’t give me anything but the usual boilerplate: "The senator is not taking anything for granted," we’re going to get out there and move the football down the football field, it’ll be a good clean fight, yadda yadda.
I’ll have more on the unfolding 2008 campaign as I stumble across it.