by Sam Spence
Real estate developer, Bravo TV star, former state treasurer, polo dandy, and new father Thomas Ravenel filed 17,000 signatures today to qualify as a petition candidate against incumbent U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Once at least 10,000 of those signatures are deemed legitimate by state election officials, Ravenel will officially be on a statewide ballot for the first time since his initial run for state treasurer in 2006. Six months after taking office in 2007, Ravenel resigned after being indicted on federal cocaine charges. Since his resignation and subsequent 10-month prison term, Ravenel has adopted the political mantle of small government, pushing for looser recreational drug laws and "the restoration of fundamental freedoms," as he wrote for the City Paper back in May. Ravenel also starred in the Bravo reality show "Southern Charm," which culminated in the announcement of his baby daughter, "Kensie", with co-star Kathryn Dennis.
Ravenel also made some waves in January when he declared that he was considering taking over this here City Paper, firing all of its employees, and spanking the paper's editor. No jobs were lost at T-Rav's hand (yet), but we can't comment on any purported spanking of former Editor Stephanie Barna or current head honcho, Chris Haire.
State election rules rotate the order of the political parties on the general election ballot, and this year, petition candidates come up second. So that means, if at least 10,000 signatures turned in today by T-Rav check out as real living, breathing human beings, then the former treasurer will appear second on the ballot under Libertarian candidate Victor Kocher and in front of Graham and Democrat Brad Hutto.
A Rasmussen poll released last week showed Graham with the lion's share of likely voter favor, earning 49% of polled voters' support over 30% of voters who said they preferred Hutto and 11% who remain undecided. The winner of the four-way election on November 4 will only need a plurality of voter support.