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State Sen. Mick Mulvaney (R), who is set to challenge Rep. John Spratt (D) in the 5th district, was in Washington, D.C., on Monday meeting with National Republican Congressional Committee officials ahead of his official announcement on Nov. 2.

Mulvaney, a self-described “pro-life libertarian Republican— who decided to challenge Spratt in September in the wake of the Congressman’s round of health care town halls in the district, was also scheduled to meet with the anti-tax group the Club for Growth while he was in town.

Mulvaney said he’s already begun forming his campaign team, which includes Starboard Communications out of South Carolina.

According to his latest Federal Election Commission report, Spratt had a little less than $600,000 in cash on hand as of Sept. 30.

Lawyer McGowan Joins Race to Take on DeMint

Democrat Chad McGowan, a lawyer from Rock Hill, said Monday that he’s setting aside his legal practice to run full time against Sen. Jim DeMint (R) in 2010.

Despite national Democratic outrage earlier this year over DeMint’s comments about making President Barack Obama’s health care effort the president’s “Waterloo,— McGowan faces a steep uphill fight when it comes to knocking off the conservative champion. DeMint had nearly $2.9 million in cash on hand at the end of September.

Still, McGowan got a glowing endorsement from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Monday.

McGowan “is well-suited to challenge Jim DeMint because he’s not a career politician or Washington insider who has carried the water of special interests for years,— said DSCC spokesman Eric Schultz. “South Carolinians are suspicious of powerful interests, and Chad McGowan has made a career out of standing up for ordinary people who are being messed over by big insurance companies and powerful corporations.—

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