by Paul Bowers
Presidential candidate Ted Cruz announced his South Carolina leadership team last week, and he's already attracted a strong contingent from the tinfoil-hat wing of the SCGOP. State Sen. Lee Bright, state Rep. Bill Chumley, and former Dorchester County Sheriff Ray Nash have all signed on as state co-chairmen.
Cruz, a U.S. Senator from Texas, announced his candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination in March at the arch-conservative Christian Liberty University, where students were required to attend his convocation speech or face a $10 fine from the university (no, seriously). Here's a quick overview of the luminaries who've joined Cruz's campaign team in South Carolina:
• Bright, an Upstate lawmaker, has on multiple occasions introduced a bill that would exempt all guns manufactured in South Carolina from federal regulation. Glenn Beck has referred to Bright as the next Ted Cruz.
• Chumley has introduced a bill in the state House that would make it illegal for government employees and contractors to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. Bright introduced a similar bill in the state Senate.
• Nash, in a recent (failed) run for Congress, called Obamacare an "unconstitutional intrusion into the jurisdiction of the states" and encouraged county sheriffs to not enforce any federal gun control laws that they saw as overstepping the Constitution.
Are you sensing a theme here? Nullification.
Not that any of this is surprising. South Carolina is, after all, well known for its history of nullification, and Cruz himself has introduced a Senate bill (co-sponsored by South Carolina's Sen. Tim Scott) that would allow states to nullify federal marriage-equality rules.
The Cruz for President campaign also announced that 40 other "conservative activists and influencers" had joined the South Carolina state leadership team. Here are the team members from the Charleston area:
• Renee Cannon, North Charleston
• Dr. Andrew Geer, Charleston
• Monica Kidd, Mt. Pleasant
• K.C. and Cherie Lombard, Johns Island
• Dr. Susan E. Moore, Charleston
• Mary L. Pearson, Summerville
• Leah Whatley, Charleston