While Mark Sanford is getting all the attention — NPR wants to talk to me about him tomorrow — he is actually but one of 16 candidates officially seeking the GOP nomination in the 1st Congressional District.
I’m thinking that’s gotta be a record, at least in a special election, and at least in South Carolina. Lord knows our cup runneth over with Republicans these days, and it’s no biggie for six or seven of them to go chasing after a choice situation on the public payroll, but sixteen?
Only four of whom I really know anything at all about. In descending order of what I know about them, they are Sanford, Larry Grooms, Chip Limehouse and Elizabeth Moffly. After Sanford, though, my knowledge drops off extremely. All I remember, without looking back in my blog, about Larry Grooms is that he wanted Fred Thompson to run for president in 2008, and I saw him at Rick Perry’s announcement in 2011 (after supporting Perry, he later very publicly urged him to drop out). I know that Elizabeth Moffly ran for state superintendent once, so I interviewed her, and she later wrote me an angry note that sort of puzzled me at the time.
With Limehouse — well, I knew I had read and even written about him in the past, but I had to go back and search my archive to remember particulars. I found that he supported Rick Perry. He pushed for creation of a special SC license plate that commemorated “Big Red,” the flag under which Citadel students fired on the Star of the West, which was trying to resupply Fort Sumter, in the most extreme, inexcusable, violent incidence of student unrest in U.S. history. He was endorsed by the Club for Growth. He sponsored a bill to make the Marsh Tacky the official South Carolina Heritage horse.
What else do I know about this field? Well, I saw a remarkable picture that ran Feb. 10 in the Post and Courier that showed 15 of the 16 standing together (screenshot above — here’s the original). I saw that all were white (in a race to replace Tim Scott) and Elizabeth Moffly was the only woman. That’s about all I could tell.
Here, according to Wikipedia, are the 16:
- Keith Blandford, businessman
- Curtis Bostic, former Charleston County Councilman
- Ric Bryant, engineer
- Larry Grooms, state Senator
- Jonathan Rath Hoffman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, Director of Border Security at the White House and Attorney
- John Kuhn, former state Senator
- Jeff King, engineer for a military contractor.
- Tim Larkin, defense engineer and member of the South Carolina Army National Guard
- Chip Limehouse, State Representative
- Peter McCoy, state Representative
- Elizabeth Moffly, member of the Charleston County School Board
- Ray Nash, Former Dorchester County Sheriff
- Andy Patrick, state Representative
- Shawn Pinkston, attorney
- Mark Sanford, former Governor of South Carolina and former U.S. Representative
- Robert “Teddy” Edward Turner IV, high school teacher and son of businessman Ted Turner
I assume that’s accurate and inclusive. I haven’t found a complete list in the MSM. Mind you, there were 16 others who were talked about as candidates, but who declined to run. That included Jenny Sanford, Tom Davis, Jim Merrill, Carroll Campbell III, Thomas Ravenel and Chip Campsen. That’s actually a better-known bunch than most of the people who actually filed.
What about the Democrats? Well, scuttlebutt tells me that Stephen Colbert’s sister, Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, is going to win that over a perennial candidate, Ben Frasier.
And what happens after that? Well, normally in that district, the Republican wins. That’s been the case since Tommy Hartnett in 1980. Which is why so many are seeking the nomination of that party, I suppose. Of course, a Democrat came within a couple of points in 2008, with Obama’s coattails. There aren’t going to be any Obama coattails this time.
Sanford, of course, has the advantage in the GOP contest, by far. Not only does common sense dictate that, but every poll I’ve seen reported. Here’s one. But right now, I’m putting more stock in the common sense thing.
The primary’s next month, and the special election is in May.
Turns out that my NPR taping has been rescheduled to tomorrow morning.
Apparently, I’m going to be on Weekend Edition. Brigid McCarthy is the person I’ve been speaking with.
More from Larry Grooms, via Twitter:
Also, Hogan “Chuckles” Gidley — last seen working with Rick Santorum — sent me this release in Grooms’ behalf yesterday:
From where I sit, Grooms seems to be the candidate running the hardest, after Sanford. Another release from Hogan Gidley (then again, maybe the others just don’t have my email address):
You’re talking to yourself again…
Friends helping friends paint themselves into an irrelevant corner.
Is it so counter-intuitive to think that competitive redistricting would actually result in a healthier, more vigorous system of representation? Convervatism in South Carolina really means stagnation. It is amusing that this is the party that purports to be the champion of free markets.
But then I guess we are used to stagnation. It’s the reveling in it that is so striking.
South Carolina has always wallowed in stagnation. Our political culture and the governmental structure that upholds it have always been about resisting change, in ways that most actual officeholders don’t fully understand…
Why SC has been in economic decline since 1820. I’d say social decline as well, but I’m partial to the people who are trying to bootstrap an existence in the state. I think the silent majority is the vast number of people who really want the state to advance, but can’t get around the boorish clique because those habits and thought patterns are difficult to fully escape. They are seductive in the way a languid summer afternoon rewards those who sit for a spell in the shaded breeze.
Who wants to hear that what we have is a culture of failure? So we don’t talk about it except in the socially acceptable ways of reveling in our “culture”.
Adaptive cultures, however, find ways to reward those ideas and things that work and let fall away those that do not. Adaptive cultures progress. Adaptive cultures grow and are strengthened. Adaptive cultures see a future that is better than the past or the present. A politician should be an adaptive leader, not a sea anchor.
The “boorish clique” is located in the State House. It’s a dozen or so guys who have no worries about leaving office until they are carried out in a casket.
That’s the way it is. To expect something different will require term limits.
Doug, with rare exceptions, the big problem isn’t particular individuals. It’s the way the system is set up.
You like to talk about Harrell and Leatherman. But if they were replaced tomorrow by Smith and Jones, you would soon be insisting to me that the problem is Smith and Jones. Which it would not be.
The last legislative leader who was personally an obstacle to reform — out of proportion to the role he played in the system — was Glenn McConnell. He actually understood the Legislative State (few lawmakers do), was devoted to preserving it, and knew how to do it…
That being said, McConnell had his good points. He did a lot to improve the judicial selection process, for instance.
And I keep hearing good things about his dedication in running the state Office on Aging. For a guy who didn’t want to be lieutenant governor, he seems to have thrown himself into the limited duties of the office with zeal…
Not if Smith and Jones were ethical people.
Too many people who care about advancing our state limit their advocacy to bumper stickers, Facebook and online comments. Many don’t bother to vote because they believe, wrongly many times, that it is futile to do so.
Get out there, people! Write your elected and appointed officials, support better candidates, both with your vote and with a few bucks. Go to public hearings and make your presence known!
Like I have time for all that…
And you are so committed to advancing this state, it’s a shame, isn’t it?
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