We know who will be running for the House seat in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional district – for the Democrats anyway. The Republican is yet to be determined, but the Dems feel good about their candidate, Elizabeth Colbert-Busch. The sister of TV’s Stephen Colbert handily captured the Democratic nomination.
We reported last month about Colbert-Busch’s entry into the race, which was announced on her brother’s The Colbert Report on February 6th. Speculation about the extent of her brother’s aid to her campaign erred on the side of caution then, but now we have a good idea of how he will be helping her. In an interview with CNNs’ Jake Tapper, Stephen Colbert commented:
“I’m willing to, you know, break the jewel of my own creation to try to do something for her. I’m not worried what it would do to me or my show to try to help her as myself, not as my character… And, you know, if people think that’s not the right thing for me to do, I don’t care. It’s my sister and I’m willing to help her.” (Source)
He has helped her in raising money for her campaign, both directly by stumping for her at fund-raisers, and indirectly via name-recognition. Thanks to the boost from her brother, Colbert-Busch has raised over $300,000 – more than her likely opponent, former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford. But, unlike Colbert-Busch, Sanford has raised his war chest primarily with donations from rich donors like David Koch and Foster Friess. So surprising, right?
Sanford has been running a “repentance campaign,” asking the people of South Carolina to forgive him for his adultery and lying. That may be a tough sell, though, as he faced ethics violations and fines and the dissolution of his 21-year marriage to Jenny Sanford. But Sanford is giving it his best, appearing on the TODAY show and playing semantics with whether or not he misused taxpayer funds. He did, for the record. He had to pay $74,000 in fines and repay travel costs which he accrued flying to assignations with his Argentinian mistress (now fiance’) with public funds.
Sanford, who had the temerity to ask his wife to run his campaign (really! – she declined), will face attorney Curtis Bostic or South Carolina state Sen. Larry Grooms in an April run-off election (with less than 500 votes separating them, there will be an automatic recount). But, with 37% of the primary vote, it’s almost a given that Sanford will be the Republican nominee. And both Colberts will be ready for him. Stephen promised
“I will make jokes about him. I said [to her] if you do something funny, I’ll make jokes about you.” (Source)
It’s expected that, if Sanford is her opponent, Colbert-Busch will face huge odds. There were over 53,00 votes cast in the Republican primary while only 16,500 Democrats voted. That’s to be expected in an overwhelmingly red district like SC1 but, with her brother’s help, Elizabeth Colbert-Busch could be the first Democrat to represent the district in decades. Let’s wish her the best.
T. Steelman is a life-long Liberal. She has been writing online about politics since 2007. She lives in Western Washington with her husband, daughter, 2 cats and a small herd of alpacas. How can anybody be enlightened? Truth is, after all, so poorly lit…