Voters Guide: 2 US Senate races on SC ballot

June 9, 2014 

It’s an unusual year in South Carolina when it comes to electing U.S. senators. Normally, a state’s senators are elected in different years. But, this year, due to the resignation of Republican Jim DeMint, both the state’s U.S. Senate seats are on the ballot.

U.S. Senate: Full six-year term

Seven Republicans and two Democrats are seeking their parties’ nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Lindsey Graham.

Graham’s GOP challengers hope to force the incumbent into a two-week runoff where they think he may be vulnerable against a single opponent. To win the GOP primary outright, Graham needs more than 50 percent plus one of the vote.

Meanwhile, two Democrats are running for the seat.

The winners on Tuesday’s primaries will square off in November’s general election, where they also will face Victor Kocher, a Columbia Libertarian.

Seeking the GOP nomination

Det Bowers

Age: 62

Residence: Columbia

Occupation: Pastor, formerly of Christ Church of the Carolinas, 2000-2013; attorney for 20 years

Political career: Ran unsuccessfully for S.C. House in 1980; ran Lt. Gov. Nick Theodore’s successful campaign in 1986; chaired Michael Dukakis’ state Democratic presidential campaign in 1988

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Wofford College; law degree, University of South Carolina; master’s of divinity, Columbia International University

Twitter pitch: Sacrifice birthed America. Trust me to take South Carolina’s heart to DC and bring South Carolina’s heart back. My integrity is not for sale

Lee Bright

Age: 44

Residence: Roebuck

Occupation: State senator; director of business development for a business consulting firm

Political experience: S.C. Senate, 2009-present; Spartanburg District 6 school board, 1999-2003

Education: Dorman High School

Twitter pitch: While Graham voted to fund Obamacare, I worked to repeal it in the state Senate. Voting records matter, and mine is 100% conservative.

Richard Cash

Age: 54

Residence: Easley

Occupation: Owner, a used-car business and a fleet of ice-cream trucks

Political experience: None; ran for U.S. House in 2010, won the primary but lost the runoff to Jeff Duncan

Education: Bachelor’s, Furman University; master’s in divinity, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Twitter pitch: Our heritage and the hope of our nation lies in respecting the Constitution, embracing the free market and turning back to God

Bill Connor

Age: 46

Residence: Orangeburg

Occupation: Attorney; lieutenant colonel, U.S. Army Reserve; Afghanistan war veteran

Political experience: None; ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination for S.C. lieutenant governor in 2010, losing in a runoff

Education degree: Bachelor’s degree, The Citadel; law degree, University of South Carolina

Twitter pitch: I have the active duty/reserve combat experience to go toe to toe with Graham on national security/foreign policy

Benjamin Dunn

Age: 43

Residence: Columbia

Occupation: Attorney; former S.C. National Guard member, 2004-05; Afghanistan war veteran

Political experience: None

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Clemson University; law degree, University of South Carolina

Twitter pitch: I am a Christian, husband, father, and veteran. I am also a competent, reasoned conservative who will take the fight to Washington.

Lindsey Graham

Age: 58

Residence: Seneca

Occupation: U.S. senator; lieutenant colonel, U.S. Air Force Reserves; former member, U.S. Air Force and S.C. Air National Guard

Political experience: U.S. Senate, 2003-present; U.S. House, 3rd District, 1995-2002; S.C. House, 1993-1994

Education: Bachelor’s and law degrees, University of South Carolina

Twitter pitch: I’m a fiscal, social and national security conservative leader who you can count on to get things done for South Carolina

Nancy Mace

Age: 36

Residence: Charleston

Occupation: Owner, PR consulting firm

Political experience: None

Education: Bachelor’s degree, The Citadel; master’s degree, University of Georgia School of Journalism

Twitter pitch: I am a wife, mother and businesswoman, not another career politician. We cannot change Washington until we change the people we send there.

Seeking the Democratic nomination

Brad Hutto

Age: 56

Residence: Orangeburg

Occupation: Attorney; professor, USC Honors College, 2007-present

Political experience: State senator; Orangeburg County Democratic Party Chairman, 1988-1994

Education: Bachelor’s degree, University of South Carolina; law degree, Georgetown University

Twitter pitch: Washington is broken. We need a Senator who is more concerned about folks in SC than appearing on Sunday morning talk shows

Jay Stamper

Age: 41

Residence: Irmo

Occupation: Self-employed

Political experience: None

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Connecticut College

Twitter pitch: I stand with President Obama for middle class & working families. Brad Hutto stands with the NRA & the conservative SC Chamber of Commerce.

U.S. Senate: Unexpired two-year term

Two Republicans and three Democrats are seeking their parties’ nomination for DeMint’s unexpired U.S. Senate term.

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott was appointed to the seat in 2012 by Gov. Nikki Haley after DeMint resigned to take a multi-million-dollar job running the Heritage Foundation. November’s contest will decide who will complete DeMint’s term, which ends in 2016.

Scott faces one GOP primary challenger, who has not been campaigning and has been unreachable by media. The winner of the Democratic and Republican primaries will square off in November in a contest that will include Jill Bossi, the American Party candidate.

Tim Scott

Age: 48

Residence: Hanahan

Occupation: U.S. senator; former owner, insurance agency and real estate group

Political career: Appointed to the U.S. Senate, Dec. 17, 2012; U.S. House of Representatives, 1st District, 2011-’12; S.C. House, 2009-’10; Charleston County Council, 1995-2008

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Charleston Southern University

Twitter pitch: I run on my record. I am for a smaller federal government, taking less of your money, and empowering people to pursue their American dreams

Randall Young

Age: 69

Residence: Travelers Rest

Occupation: Retired farmer

Political experience: South Tyger River Watershed, elected 2010; ran unsuccessfully for S.C. House, 2013

Education: Candidate unreachable

Twitter pitch: Candidate unreachable

Seeking the Democratic nomination

Joyce Dickerson

Age: 68

Residence: Columbia

Occupation: Former insurance compliance auditor, cosmetologist and owner of a beauty salon

Political experience: Richland County Council, 2005-present; ran unsuccessfully for S.C. House, 1996

Education: Associate’s degree, Midlands Technical College; bachelor’s degree, Benedict College

Twitter pitch: Joyce is a bold & courageous leader. She fights for veterans, the middle class and seniors. You are her priority. #YourChoiceIsJoyce

Sidney Moore

Age: 65

Residence: Rock Hill

Occupation: Retired, worked in telecommunications, real estate, insurance and local government

Political experience: York County Council, two terms in the late 1970s

Education: Bachelor’s degree, University of South Carolina

Twitter pitch: SC born and bred, retired 65-year-old granddad, Gamecock! Former York County official, former state agency administrator, eager to save

Harry Pavilack

Age: 73

Residence: Myrtle Beach

Occupation: Attorney for 47 years, in real estate business for 30 years

Political experience: None; ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House, 2012

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Clemson University; law degree, University of South Carolina

Twitter pitch: I’m a leader, not a follower. I want no food stamp, social security or armed service cuts, and no government shutdowns. Vote Pavilack!

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