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Lindsey Graham Draws Three Primary Challengers In Re-Election Bid

Memo Pad Politics

Lindsey Graham Draws Three Primary Challengers In Re-Election Bid


Senator Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) middle-of-the-road approach to immigration reform does not sit well with Tea Party Republicans in South Carolina. Graham now faces three challengers in his 2014 re-election bid, largely due to his reform push.

Nancy Mace — a public relations executive who was the first woman to graduate from The Citadel — South Carolina state senator Lee Bright, and businessman Richard Cash will all run against Graham.

Graham is in a similar situation to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is also being challenged in a primary by a Tea Party Republican. But unlike McConnell, if Graham can get past the primary, he faces no strong Democratic opposition in the statewide election.

So far, all three have criticized Graham’s position on immigration reform.

Cash believes Graham’s acceptance of a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants is of particular importance, calling the incumbent’s stance on this issue “highly destructive to the concept of the rule of law.”

Similarly, Bright stressed that “we have to enforce the law,” when speaking about immigration in Landrum, South Carolina.

Mace insists that Graham’s immigration position will cost taxpayers. “Lindsey Graham’s immigration reform would cost Americans more than $6 trillion & does nothing to secure the border. Conservative?” Mace posted on her Facebook page on May 10.

While three primary challengers may point to trouble with his base, it may also be politically advantageous for Graham. Political strategists believe the trio will split the libertarian vote, leaving Graham with a path to victory. “If I’m Lindsey Graham, I want two or three people opposing me,” Citadel political scientist Scott Buchanan told South Carolina newspaper The State.

The three also face an uphill battle against Graham’s formidable re-election campaign, which boasts $6.3 million in cash on hand and a SuperPAC to back the 58-year-old senator. Bright, Cash, and Mace have just 10 months to raise enough money to challenge Graham before the June 2014 primary — suggesting that Graham has good odds of avoiding an upset.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons


  1. Dominick Vila August 3, 2013

    The pragmatism and objectivity shown by Republican senators such as Lindsey Graham and John McCain on the issue of immigration reform are bound to elicit robust opposition from all the hate groups in America and from those that perceive foreign cultural influences as an evil, and are determined to preserve the fabric of American culture against the inexorable passing of time and the consequences derived from it.
    The only recourse for the moderate Republicans that endorsed the need for immigration reform is to do a 180 and propose higher fences, more vigilantes, and relentless persecution of those that look and sound different. Sen. McCain did it successfully the last time he ran. Unfortunately for him, his constituents will perceived his latest position on this issue as evidence that he was not sincere when he claimed a change of heart and will not forgive him the next time he runs for re-election, if he decides to run again. Needless to say every Tea Party supporter will seize the opportunity to improve their candidacy among those consumed by intolerance and hatred of anything foreign.

  2. Phil Lunney August 3, 2013

    Lindsey Graham has a chance to make a difference in the next 12+ months and reestablish himself as a leader who knows how to compromise and get things done.If only he had the guts. Too bad because he will not be able to swerve far enough Right to win a primary on those terms.

    1. Chief_Cabioch September 30, 2013

      that will…as usual be an Epic Fail on his part he is to embedded with those like McCain who are bound and determined to find out just how bad their constituents dislike them

  3. idamag August 4, 2013

    He talks so slow I wondered if he even wore shoes until he went to Washington and can we trust SC to send anyone better or will they be worse?

  4. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh August 4, 2013

    This is what happens when Republicans don’t follow party line (at least according to the right-wing-nuts currently in control of their propaganda machine)

  5. Budjob August 5, 2013

    Let’s just give South Carolina their independence and,send them on their way.On the other hand S.C. is too small to be a country and too large to be a mental institution!


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