Tags: Bruce Carroll

‘Carolina Conservatives United’ Pledges to Take Down Graham


Bruce Carroll, friendly blogger, has a new project down in his home state of South Carolina:

Carolina Conservatives United launched today with a grassroots effort to Defeat Lindsey Graham in the 2014 Republican Primary. Carolina Conservatives United is a non-profit political organization based in South Carolina whose mission is to support political candidates who support conservative values and oppose those who do not.

“As residents of South Carolina and grassroots activists in the conservative movement, we are concerned not only about Lindsey Graham’s voting record on important issues but also the contempt he regularly displays toward small-government conservative citizens,” said Bruce Carroll, Chairman of CCU.

“Lindsey Graham is part of the DC culture that is crippling our nation.  We believe that he’s been there long enough and we are going to spend time outside our normal day-to-day jobs & lives to bring him home,” said Breeanne Howe, CCU Board Secretary. “Fellow conservatives who would like to join us can donate to the cause and also send us leads on Graham’s record through our email: [email protected].”

 For more information, visit

Bruce tells me, “Our board is expressly NOT supporting any candidate.  We are only working to force Lindsey Graham into early retirement.  I do not expect we will endorse a candidate for the GOP 2014 Senate Primary…  We are starting from scratch and the investment of our time and personal money.  We are starting with about $10,000 at kickoff tomorrow.  I have some promises of donors once we launch, but I never count my chickens in advance. Our goal is to raise enough money to start running TV ads in South Carolina by the fall.”

Here’s their first web video:

That’s the good news if you want to see Graham replaced. Here’s the bad news: these folks will need a candidate, and preferably only one candidate. Nancy Mace, Lee Bright, and Richard Cash have all been discussed as potential candidates, but only Cash has jumped in  – and they’re not likely to be able to afford an anti-Graham primary fight amongst themselves.

Meanwhile, Graham begins with a huge headstart; $6.3 million in cash on hand.

Tags: Lindsey Graham , Bruce Carroll , Lee Bright , Nancy Mace , Richard Cash

To Beat Lindsey Graham in a Primary, You Need a Candidate


In the comments section, a reader laments:

I guess you guys are going to do nothing to stop Lindsey Graham from being reelected. Buckley Rule does not apply in Red South Carolina? Multiple jokey posts about Stephen Colbert’s sister instead?

(I tend to think highlighting her inability to specify how she’ll balance the budget besides eliminating “waste and fraud” is more than a “jokey post,” but then again, I’ve always been a big fan of my own work.)

You can’t beat someone with no one. At this point, the only Republican who has declared interest in running against Graham is Keith Blandford, who suspended his Senate bid to run in the special House election in South Carolina’s first district. Blandford received 195 votes in the primary, out of 53,793 cast. Blogger Bruce Carroll contemplated a bid, but decided against it.

Senator Lindsey Graham has $4.4 million in cash on hand right now. That doesn’t make him impossible to defeat in a Republican primary, but it does make it tough. A December poll showed him 47 percent approval and 39 percent disapproval among all voters, and a 66 percent approval among self-identified Republicans.

Tags: Bruce Carroll , Keith Blandford , Lindsey Graham

A New GOP Challenger for Lindsey Graham in 2014?


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.

Tags: Bruce Carroll , Lindsey Graham , South Carolina

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