Challengers to South Carolina Senator Are Lining Up on the Right

Kim Severson, New York Times, August 26, 2013

Some of the early shots in the Republican primary battle against Senator Lindsey Graham have been fired from this tiny community on the northern border of the state where the Civil War began.

A small group called Carolina Conservatives United, one of dozens organized loosely under the flag of limited government, low taxes and strict adherence to the Constitution, sent out images last week of a milk carton bearing Mr. Graham’s face and asked Gov. Nikki R. Haley to issue the state’s version of an Amber Alert to find its missing senator.

“Lindsey Graham has not been seen in the state of South Carolina for most of the last two years,” said Bruce Carroll, the chairman of the group.

Conservatives in South Carolina are eager to oust Mr. Graham, who has enraged the far right for, among other things, reaching across the aisle on immigration and supporting President Obama’s nominations for the Supreme Court. {snip}

{snip} At least 40 groups align themselves along Tea Party and Libertarian lines, and trying to unify them to topple the state’s senior senator will be no easy task.

So far, three people have stepped forward to challenge Mr. Graham in the June primary: State Senator Lee Bright; Richard Cash, a former Congressional candidate; and Nancy Mace, the first woman to graduate from the Citadel and, at the moment, the challenger whose political star is rising the fastest.

Ms. Mace, the owner of a public relations firm in Charleston, prides herself on her social media skills. She has never run for office, but her story is familiar to many here. For a time, she became the face of gender integration when she graduated from the Citadel in 1999, an experience she followed with a 2001 book, “In the Company of Men: A Woman at the Citadel.”

Toughing it out at the formerly all-male military college makes her a perfect candidate for voters seeking a true conservative, she said.

“I feel like they are looking for someone who is very strong and who won’t waver,” she said in an interview last week. {snip}


Ms. Haley said she was not jumping into the battle over who should replace Mr. Graham. Speaking this month at the annual Red State gathering, organized by Erick Erickson, the founder of the conservative blog, the governor said: “I controlled Tim Scott. We’ll see what you do with the other one.”

She was referring to former Representative Tim Scott, a Tea Party favorite she appointed this year to the Senate seat vacated by Jim DeMint, who left to head the Heritage Foundation.


The state’s traditional Republican leaders and political consultants say that it will take a deeply unified effort to mount a successful campaign against Mr. Graham, but that in South Carolina, an unpredictable state with one of the country’s largest number of prominent Tea Party politicians, it is not unthinkable.

The key is for one candidate to find a way to harness that power.

“Anybody who wants to look at all those groups with a broad stroke should think again,” said Matt Moore, the chairman of the state’s Republican Party.

This summer, dozens of conservative groups talked about finding the state’s Ted Cruz—a reference to the Texas senator whose long-shot, grass-roots victory in 2012 is considered a model among Tea Party supporters.


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  • Whoah! Some people are finally taking my advice to get rid of fake republicans?
    How about it, Arizona? John McCain should be on your hit list. Send him out to retirement. Invite Hanoi Jane to his retirement party.

    • The resolution – introduced to a cheering crowd earlier this week at a GOP executive committee meeting – blasts Graham on a number of fronts, including his votes to confirm liberal, pro-Obamacare Supreme Court justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, his support of amnesty for illegal aliens and his backing of U.S. President Barack Obama’s “cap and trade” energy tax hike.
      The comments on the site I plucked this from are more “racist” than the ones on Amren. One of the commenters coined a phrase: “Grahamnesty”.
      Lindsey’s campaign manager?

    • Jefferson

      John McCain has the same views as Hanoi Jane when it comes to the issue of illegal immigration.

  • IstvanIN

    I hope Graham is evicted. It looks like NJ is going to get Miss Corey Booker and the Senate needs someone to balance him out.

  • Spartacus

    Too little, too late…

  • haroldcrews

    Anyone who thinks that using the federal courts to forcibly integrate The Citadel for women is conservative obviously has absolutely no understanding of what conservatism is. This is the same sort of person who would claim that MLK was a conservative.

  • Lee Bright is the best, most consistent and most credible of the challengers to Grahamnesty. Like I said on the Lamar Alexander story, he’s going to have to hammer away at immigration all the time, and turn the election into a single issue referendum on immigration. Because Grahamnesty already has the name recognition, the power of incumbency, and he’ll have a lot of money from the coastal South Carolina military industrial complex interests, and of course the EL CHEAPO labor lobby really zeroes in on U.S. Senate seats.

    • WR_the_realist

      I went to Lee Bright’s web site and he doesn’t even mention immigration as an issue. So I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

      • jackryanvb

        Leave a comment noting this glaring omission

  • jackryanvb

    The NYT story mentions many Libertarian, Tea Party groups getting involved in SC. These loons tend to be as bad as Grahamnesty on immigration.

    Didn’t Sheldon Adelson’s Newt Gingrich win Suth Carolina GOP primary?

    Can’t understand how the once proud, unreconstructed Southern Confederate state of South Carolina now doesn’t have a heterosexual Southerner in the offices of Governor, US Senate.

    • Except this time the Tea Party groups are pushing against Grahamnesty because of immigration. And while Nut did win the Presidential primary, it didn’t matter who won it because three of the four major contenders left were fundamentally open borders (Gingrich, Romney, Paul), and Santorum was iffy and hard to pin down on the matter.

      • jackryanvb

        Controlling a false conservative opposition is a very effective tactic used by our enemies/enemy.

        The Neo Conservatives pretty much took over Conservative talk radio and neutered it, made Conservative politics in to promoting endless wars for Israel, talking about some market economic reforms that are designed to help Blacks.

        The Libertarian groups in South Carolina sound bad, poor Whites will prefer Lib Democrats.

        • In this case, they won’t vote for Democrats because in South Carolina, that means voting for the black party. They would just stay home. And remember in this context, this is a Republican primary, so no blacks and no Democrats involved. What it does mean is that a percentage of voters will be confused, maybe enough for Grahamnesty to skate through on a close vote.

          All challengers to Lindsay Graham not named Lee Bright should exit the race immediately, then Bright should go all immigration all the time. (And, per your earlier suggestion on OD, leave the rumors about that certain lifestyle choice on Grahamnesty’s part to the subterranean rumor mill.)

          • jackryanvb

            Good advice. And I like Amren’s policy on Gays:

            If White gays are responsible, productive people and generally on the White side then they are OK, prefer White gays for neighbors instead of Black welfare “families”

            That doesn’t mean we want to have their alternative lifestyle forced down our throat every stinking day, but as far as the Lib Dems go, White gays are the least destructive and we can learn from their successes in reclaiming urban areas.

          • Re white gays: If they think of themselves as white people first, then we should be with them as they will be with us. But if they think of themselves as gay first, then they’re hardly the next great ethnonationalist constituency. The truth is that most white gays think of themselves as gay first and not white first or at all. Because white gays like to gentrify inner cities, where the undertow also is, there’s a chance that that paradigm could flip in the future, that all the mahogany mobs beating up on white gays calling them “fagot honkeys” could open their eyes.

          • NeanderthalDNA

            Yeah, I’ve posted here regarding a couple of White lesbian pals like that. All they wanted was a civil union to protect their little girls, of whom they are worried sick. Don’t want them “blackified” sick of all the same stuff you and I are.

            If those lovely ladies wish to join me in the phalanx…I could do a lot worse. They ain’t exactly the lipstick variety of lesbian, bless ’em, lol…

  • IKantunderstand

    Is he gay? Whoa, just fell into the left’s hijacking of the language! What I meant to say, as a White, and by that, I mean, a White! I am not a non-hispanic White. I am a White. Perhaps others, are Hispanic Whites. Not me. I am White . Period. Anyway, where do they get off co-opting the word “gay”? That has always been a mighty fine, descriptive word! Of all the words in the world to pick, gay should have been the last on the list. Who decided they got to use the word “gay” as a noun, to describe themselves? Seriously? This kind of crap, only adds to my general peed offidness. I think, we, as the majority, (this is a democracy, right?) God knows, this form of government will be our demise, but, in the meantime, we should have a referendum on what to call homosexuals. I vote for: non- heterosexuals, or, perhaps, sexually normal challenged. Without a doubt, we White heterosexuals should not ever be described as a “non” anything.

    • Rhialto

      Control of language through control of mass media is a major Liberal weapon.

      • itdoesnotmatter

        I absolutely loathe the expression, “openly gay,” to describe a gender confused, self “outed” politician. Should we refer to heteros as “openly heterosexual?”

      • MBlanc46

        It’s a weapon of any sort of regime. Make them speak our language and you’ll make them think our thoughts.

    • Jim G

      Calling normal people “straight” is worse. The homosexual lobby got the MSM to call them by the name that they like. They also got the MSM to call normal people the name the gays liked.

      Straight is a derogatory term. Normal people were not clamoring to get called “Straight”.

      Gay and straight redefine the sex acts. Now perversions such as sodomy, masochism, and sadism are no longer perversions but are behaviors just as healthy as sexual intercourse between husband and his wife.

  • MBlanc46

    A lot of names–Beverly-Leslie-Shirley-began as men’s names and were purloined by women. Kerry is a more recent example. Lindsay/Lindsey is perhaps in that category.

  • Epiminondas

    If a deep pockets conservative would bankroll any of Graham’s challengers, the senator would lose. Graham is hiding behind incumbency.

  • mobilebay

    I’d vote for the devil if he’d stand up and tell the world we’re not longer its dumping ground and that everyone here without permission will kindly leave (that’s for the humanitarians) or go to the slammer. Eisenhower did it, so why did we suddenly elect a bunch of wimps who would rather see our nation overtaken than demanding the lawbreakers leave?

  • Lindsay Gayham …. “Right / Conservative” …… LMAO.