by Paul Bowers
Late last night, former teacher and family court special advocate Bobbie Rose announced she had entered the race for the Democratic nomination for South Carolina's First Congressional District, bringing the total number of candidates in both parties to (by our latest count) 14.
Since Rep. Tim Scott moved up to the Senate to take Jim DeMint's seat, an absurd number of politicians, local celebrities, and average Joes and Janes have filed for the special Democratic and Republican primaries to fill his seat, which are scheduled for March 19. Other contenders include former Dorchester County Sheriff Ray Nash (Republican), media mogul's son Teddy Turner (Republican), television personality Stephen Colbert's sister and Clemson Restoration Institute leader Elizabeth Colbert-Busch (Democrat), and Appalachian-trail-hiking veto king ex-Gov. Mark Sanford (Republican).
Rose challenged Tim Scott in the 2012 election, running as a fusion candidate on the Democratic and Working Families tickets. Her campaign went on the offensive, sniping at Scott for his stance on renewing the Violence Against Women Act and for his campaign stunt slinging honey-butter croissants for a day at California Dreaming. She captured about 36 percent of the vote in the November election.
"The stakes have never been higher for the future of our district, our state, and our country," Rose said in a press release last night. "We are presently unable to move forward due to Republican obstructionists in our Congress, particularly the House."
Republican John Kuhn also made a splash yesterday, touring all five counties in the newly redrawn District 1 to announce his candidacy. Kuhn, an estate planning lawyer and former member of the S.C. Senate from Berkeley and Charleston counties, is running on a platform that includes gun rights, spending cuts, and repeal of the Affordable Care Act. He has pledged to finance his campaign with a quarter-million dollars out of his own pocket.
When the City Paper got a call yesterday from James Islander Jonathan Hoffman, the former director of border security under the George W. Bush administration, we assumed it meant he had filed for the Republican race. We were right. "From the time I was in high school, I knew this was going to be a problem if we didn't pay our bills," Hoffman said of the federal debt crisis. "We've reached a point where we're going to have to make some really tough choices about what we are going to pay for." Last year, Hoffman co-founded Solitical, a politically focused social network (read our story about Solitical here). This year, he'll have to call on a lot of friends to take down Sanford in the packed Republican field.
Here's the list of people who have filed so far, as best as we can tell. Send us an e-mail if you decide to enter the race.
• Keith Blandford, Sullivan's Island businessman
• Curtis Bostic, former Charleston County Council member
• Larry Grooms, state Senator
• John Kuhn, former state Senator
• Chip Limehouse, state Representative
• Peter McCoy, state Representative
• Elizabeth Moffly, Charleston County School Board member
• Ray Nash, former Dorchester County sheriff
• Andy Patrick, state Representative
• Mark Sanford, former governor and U.S. Representative
• Robert "Teddy" Edward Turner IV, high school economics teacher, former media executive, and son of Ted Turner
• Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, director of business development at Clemson’s Restoration Institute in North Charleston and sister of TV personality Stephen Colbert
• Bobbie Rose, former teacher and family court special advocate
• Martin Skelly, a businessman who (like Kuhn) has also made a pledge to spend $250,000 of his own money on the campaign