Bruce Carroll, who blogs at GayPatriot, is stepping down from GOProud to explore a primary challenge to South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham.
If Carroll goes forward with this, he will have to complete a Statement of Intention of Candidacy (SIC) form with the state GOP and a Statement of Economic Interest (SEI) form with the State Ethics Commission. The filing period does not begin until March 16, 2014, and closes March 30.
He will have to submit a filing fee of 1 percent of the annual salary of the office multiplied by the number of years in the term of office (or $100, whichever is greater). This year the salary for a U.S. senator is $174,000, so if it remains the same for 2014, the filing fee will be $10,440.
However, the difficulty of beating Graham in a primary should not be underestimated, as Shawn Drury notes:
Last month, Winthrop University published a poll that showed Graham with an approval/disapproval rating of 71.6/17.4 among Republicans. Among all voters it was 58.4/41.6. Those poll numbers came out after the Club For Growth named Graham its top target in 2014.
. . . no South Carolina Senator who served a full term has lost a re-election campaign since Coleman Bease in 1930.
Being the incumbent is not a small advantage, chiefly when it comes to raising money, something that Graham is very good at. Before he’s even officially declared that he’ll seek re-election Graham has at least $4.4 million in his campaign coffers.
Of course, challengers tend to make an impact whether they win their primary or not, as some GOP senators shift to the right in the presence of a declared conservative challenger in their state primary:
After receiving an 88 percent rating from the Club for Growth political action committee in 2009, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah jumped to 100 percent in 2010 and then 99 percent in 2011.