By Paul Gable
What does it tell you that the Tea Party’s best candidate to challenge Sen. Lindsey Graham is a former Democratic operative who ran the Michael Dukakis campaign in South Carolina?
Det Bowers officially filed yesterday to challenge Graham. While he is now talking about right wing issues such as illegal immigration, Obamacare, term limits and balanced federal budgets, it is Bowers’ former Democratic associations that reportedly bring hope to stopping Graham.
The thought process is that Bowers will attract at least some of the crossover Democrat vote in the June open Republican Primary that was expected to fully support Graham. It is hoped that this will bring Graham’s vote in the first round of the primary to under 50% forcing a runoff.
In the runoff, should Bowers run second, the ultra conservatives will then consolidate their support behind Bowers, which mixed with some crossover Democrats, will push Bowers over the top.
Interesting scenario, but probably more wish than reality. The Dukakis presidential campaign in South Carolina was less than stellar, to be kind. And that was at a time when there was still a functioning Democratic Party in the state.
Why should we believe the man who was in charge of this campaign will do any better on his own?
Bowers reportedly can bring some big donors to his campaign, something the other challengers to Graham have struggled to obtain.
A big campaign chest may give Bowers some lift. But, the most difficult thing to accomplish in South Carolina politics is unseating an incumbent. It happens, but very rarely.
On the local front in Horry County, very few competitive campaigns have shaped up so far.
Rep. Tracy Edge is again being challenged by Greg Duckworth for House District 104 seat. Duckworth and several other challengers couldn’t keep Edge from a first ballot primary victory two years ago and there is no reason to expect the result to be different this time.
Gloria Bromell Tinubu is again challenging Rep. Tom Rice in the South Carolina’s Seventh Congressional District. Tinubu was the Democratic nominee when the seat was first contested in 2012.
Rice bested Tinubu in the 2012 general election even with President Barack Obama leading the Democratic ticket. It’s hard to see her reversing the verdict in an off year election.
S.C. House District 56 will again see Rep. Mike Ryhal challenged by Dennis DiSabato. This is a rematch of the 2012 Republican primary race in which Ryhal came out on top by a little over 100 votes.
But, again, incumbency carries some help with the voters and DiSabato has a bigger mountain to climb this time out.
Horry County Council District Five will see the wildest race as four candidates have filed for the Republican Primary and at least one more is expected to run. With no incumbent in the race, Paul Price is not seeking re-election, this one will be fun to watch.
We are hearing associate judge Kathy Ward will challenge her former boss Horry County Probate Judge Deirdre Edmonds for the position. Ward reportedly resigned from her position a little over a week ago to make the challenge.
Filing closes at noon Sunday March 30th. We’ll have a complete look at the races after that.