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.
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.