In one of the most crowded congressional races in recent state history, a whopping 19 Republicans and Democrats have filed to run for the 1st Congressional District seat vacated by Tim Scott.
Filing closed at noon today for the five-county district that includes most of Beaufort County. Recently redrawn by the GOP-controlled legislature, district voters are expected to pick a Republican in the May 7 general election.
But first, the crowded field almost ensures a runoff — at least among Republican contenders —for March 19.
The race already is generating buzz among the national media, thanks to a matchup that pits former Gov. Mark Sanford — attempting to fight his way back from a 2009 extramarital affair — against fellow Republican Teddy Turner — son of media mogul Ted Turner. The Democratic side features Elizabeth Colbert-Busch — sister to late-night comedian and Charleston native Stephen Colbert, who had his own fun diving into S.C. politics previously.
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In 2011, Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" met with S.C. Republican Party officials and sought to buy naming rights for the state's first-in-the-South GOP presidential primary. The comedian wanted to name the primary "The Colbert Nation Super PAC Presidential Primary."
The candidates are:
- Elizabeth Moffly, current member of the Charleston County school board
- Teddy Turner, son of media mogul Ted Turner, who teaches economics at the Charleston Collegiate School, a private school near Charleston
- S.C. Rep. Andy Patrick of Hilton Head Island
- Curtis Bostic, a Charleston attorney and former member of Charleston County Council
- former S.C. Sen. John Kuhn of Charleston County
- Ray Nash, former Dorchester County sheriff who most recently served in Afghanistan as a criminal justice adviser with the U.S. Embassy in Kabul
- S.C. Sen. Chip Limehouse of Charleston County
- Jeff King, a Goose Creek resident and systems engineer for a military contractor
- Keith Blandford, unsuccessful 2012 Libertarian candidate for the 1st District
- S.C. Rep. Peter McCoy of Charleston County
- S.C. Sen. Larry Grooms of Berkeley County
- Tim Larkin, a Summerville resident and information systems security engineer working for a military contractor. He is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and currently serves in the S.C. Army National Guard.
- Former, two-term Gov. Mark Sanford of Charleston County who represented the district for three terms in Congress
- Jonathan Hoffman, a Charleston small business owner, adjunct professor at The Citadel and the Charleston School of Law, and an Air Force Reserve officer
- Ric Bryant. No information available.
- Shawn Pinkston. No information available.
- Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, director of business development for Clemson University’s wind-turbine facility in North Charleston
- Martin Skelly, a West Ashley resident and owner of the Russia-based investment group UFG Asset Management
- Ben Frasier, a businessman and perennial S.C. candidate who has run for office an estimated 19 times before
For updates throughout the day, follow reporter Gina Smith at www.twitter.com/GinaNSmith.