Congressional accounts favor SC incumbents

Staff and wire reportsApril 17, 2014 

South Carolina’s seven congressmen have more than $3 million combined in their campaign accounts heading into this year’s midterm elections. Their opponents have only a fraction of that.

Filings with the Federal Election Commission this week show challengers combined have just over $20,000 in their campaign accounts, and 10 did not file spending reports for the period ending March 31.

Candidates are only required to file with the FEC if they have raised or spent at least $5,000.

Democratic challenger Tom Adams of Fort Mill, facing incumbent Republican Mick Mulvaney of Indian Land in the 5th Congressional District that includes York, Chester and Lancaster counties, has $4,400 in the bank compared to Mulvaney’s $310,000.

Mulvaney, who defeated longtime Democrat John Spratt in 2010, is seeking his third term in Congress. If re-elected, Mulvaney has said he would push issues like continued job growth, spending cuts and health care reform – as well as smaller issues that specifically affect his constituency such as government regulation of community banks and credit unions.

Adams, a Fort Mill Town Council member who manages an automotive dealership, has said he is running a pro-business campaign that emphasizes “compromise” and “coalition.”

Two of the state’s congressmen face opposition in the June 10 primary.

Incumbent 2nd District Republican Joe Wilson is being challenged by Eddie McCain Jr. Wilson has almost $270,000 on hand while there was no filing for McCain on the Federal Election Commission website.

Sixth District Democrat Jim Clyburn faces a challenge from Karen Smith of Dorchester. Clyburn, the dean of the congressional delegation and the state’s first black congressman since Reconstruction, has the most money – almost $1.3 million – of any of the state’s seven incumbents.

There was no spending report filed for his primary opponent or the two Republicans and the Libertarian seeking Clyburn’s seat.

In South Carolina’s 7th District, incumbent freshman Republican Tom Rice again faces Democrat Gloria Bromell Tinubu this fall. The new district in the state’s northeast corner that includes Myrtle Beach was created because of population growth reflected in the 2010 Census.

Campaign filings show Rice has almost $300,000 on hand with a debt of $24,000. Bromell Tinubu reported almost $12,000 on hand but with debts of $350,000 from the 2012 campaign.

In the 3rd District along the state’s western edge there is a Democratic primary between Hosea Cleveland and Barbara Jo Mullis for the right to face incumbent Republican Jeff Duncan, who has just over $150,000 in the bank. Incumbent Republican incumbent Trey Gowdy, with almost $350,000 on hand, faces Libertarian Curtis McLaughlin in the fall in the 4th District in the Greenville-Spartanburg area.

One incumbent won’t need to spend any money this year.

U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, who last year defeated Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Bush in a race that attracted national attention in the 1st District, has neither primary nor general election opposition. Sanford has just over $380,000 in the bank.

Bruce Smith of the Associated Press contributed

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