Former SC Gov. Mark Sanford leading in congressional campaign fundraising game

Many GOP candidates self-financing; strong showing by Democratic Elizabeth Colbert Busch

gsmith@islandpacket.comMarch 8, 2013 

Elizabeth Colbert Busch and Mark Sanford

Elizabeth Colbert Busch

  • Raised nearly $310,000. Additionally, Colbert Busch has loaned her own campaign $9,000. No donations from her famous comedian brother, Stephen Colbert, but $500 from former Republican FEC chairman Trevor Potter, who sometimes appears on Colbert's show as his "attorney." Several donations from big-name S.C. Democrats and $18,000 from political action committees, including some affiliated with labor unions.

  • Spent nearly $110,000

  • Nearly $209,000 cash on hand to spend going forward.

  • Mark Sanford

  • Raised more than $334,000. No loans. No donations from political action committees.

  • Spent more than $11,000. (Prior to this filing period, Sanford spent more than $90,000 on the race, made possible by nearly $121,000 left over in his old congressional account.)

  • Nearly $365,000 cash on hand.

  • Donations from around the state and the country including $2,500 from New York billionaire David Koch; $500 from former S.C. Treasurer Thomas Ravenel, who Sanford suspended after Ravenel was indicted on federal cocaine charges in 2007; and $1,000 from GOP activist John Rainey, who is waging a battle against Gov. Nikki Haley who, he claims, illegally lobbied while she was a S.C. House member.

  • Teddy Turner

  • Raised more than $131,000, and Turner donated $245,000 of his own money.

  • Spent more than $345,000.

  • More than $99,000 cash on hand.

  • Media mogul Ted Turner, Teddy's billionaire father, gave $7,800, the maximum an individual can give. No donations from Ted Turner's ex-wife, Jane Fonda, yet though. Also, donations from several prominent Charleston businessmen, including the heads of Baker Motor Co. and The InterTech Group, an aerospace company. Donations, too, from Leo Kayser of the Club for Growth and several employees of Turner Enterprises Inc., an Atlanta company that manages the business interests, land holdings and investments of Ted Turner, including the oversight of two million acres in 12 states.

  • Note: The figures are for the period of Jan. 1 through Feb. 27, 2013, as reported to the Federal Election Commission.

    Larry Grooms

  • Nearly $224,000 raised. Also, Grooms loaned his campaign $100,000

  • Spent more than $115,000

  • More than $208,000 cash on hand.

  • John Kuhn

  • More than $50,100 raised. Also, Kuhn has loaned his campaign $500,000

  • Spent nearly $419,000.

  • More than $131,000 cash on hand.

  • Chip Limehouse

  • More than $140,000 raised. Additionally, Limehouse has loaned his campaign $400,000.

  • Spent more than $497,000.

  • Nearly $43,000 cash on hand.

  • Andy Patrick

  • Nearly $62,000 raised for the period. Additionally, Patrick has loaned his campaign more than $3,000.

  • Spent more than $27,000.

  • More than $34,000 cash on hand.
  • Former Gov. Mark Sanford is the Republican money leader in the race for the 1st Congressional District seat, raising more than $334,000 between Jan. 1 and Feb. 27.

    He has taken out no loans and accepted no donations from political action committees.

    "I have been really humbled by the level of support our campaign has gotten," Sanford said. "People from all walks of life have stepped forward to join our effort to get government spending under control, and I'm genuinely appreciative."

    Several of the other GOP candidates are tapping their own wallets heavily, according to new federal financial filings released late Thursday and Friday.

    While Teddy Turner raised more than $376,000 for the period, only about $131,000 came from donors. The rest, $245,000, came from Turner himself.

    Meanwhile, Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Berkeley, has put $100,000 into his campaign, and so has Curtis Bostic, a former Charleston County Council member. Current Charleston County school board member Elizabeth Moffly loaned her campaign $205,000.

    Two candidates are taking self-financing to a new level.

    Former state Sen. John Kuhn, an attorney with offices in Bluffton and Charleston, has put $500,000 of his own money into his race. He is taking Sanford to task in a new TV ad.

    State Rep. Chip Limehouse, R-Charleston, has given $400,000 of his own money.

    Many of the other GOP candidates are not taking out big loans and are lagging in fundraising. That includes state Rep. Andy Patrick, R-Hilton Head Island, the only Hilton Head resident in the race. He raised nearly $62,000 and loaned his campaign more than $3,000.

    Sanford also has the upper hand with the most cash on hand with nearly $365,000 to propel him into the final days before the March 19 Republican primary.

    Grooms and Democratic front-runner Elizabeth Colbert Busch share the second best position, each with more than $208,000 cash on hand.

    Colbert Busch may be a newcomer to politics but is shining in the money race.

    The Charleston businesswoman and sister of comedian Stephen Colbert has raised nearly $310,000, with only a small loan to her campaign. While her famous brother has not donated directly to her yet, he has co-hosted several high-profile fundraisers with her, bringing in the cash.

    The state's Democratic leaders lining up behind her include Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, S.C. Democratic Party chairman Dick Harpootlian, 2010 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Vincent Sheheen, and unsuccessful 2008 Democratic congressional nominee Linda Ketner. All have made donations.

    She also has received a $1,000 contribution from former U.S. Rep. John Spratt's congressional fund. Spratt was defeated in 2010 by now Rep. Mick Mulvaney, a York County Republican.

    "Her positions on job creation, quality education, and protecting Social Security and Medicare have resonated with voters so thoroughly that they are willing to contribute financially to ensure her election," said Catherine Christman, Colbert Busch's spokeswoman. "Knowing how deep her support runs greatly inspires Elizabeth and her campaign as we gear up for the primary and general elections."

    Related content

    1. Sanford, Kuhn spar over TV ad, March 7, 2013
    2. Former Gov. Mark Sanford's rough signs mask polished congressional campaign effort, March 6, 2013
    3. Congressional candidates spar over Sanford family's Beaufort County land sale, March, 6, 2013

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