The large field of congressional hopefuls in South Carolina’s 1st District filed pre-primary fundraising reports this week — providing the first glimpse into the financial jockeying in the special election to replace Tim Scott, now a Republican senator.
Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, the front-runner in the contest, raised $334,000 between Jan. 1 and Feb. 27. He ended the period with $365,000 in the bank. Sanford faces 15 other Republicans, some of whom also posted relatively strong fundraising periods, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.
The filings come two weeks ahead of the March 19 primary. No candidate is expected to get more than 50 percent of the vote, setting up an April 2 runoff — presumably between Sanford and another candidate. Fundraising for the other Republicans in the race was as follows:
- Teddy Turner, the son of TV mogul Ted Turner, took in $376,000 in receipts during the period, including a $245,000 contribution from himself.
- State Rep. Chip Limehouse took in $540,000, including a $400,000 personal loan.
- State Sen. Larry Grooms pulled in $324,000, including a $100,000 loan from the candidate.
- Former state Sen. John Kuhn took in $550,000, including a half-million-dollar loan from himself to the campaign.
- Attorney Curtis Bostic took in $187,000 in receipts, including a $100,000 loan from himself.
Meanwhile, likely Democratic nominee Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, took in $319,000 during the period, including a $9,000 loan she made to her campaign. She ended the period with $209,000 in cash on hand. She faces Ben Frasier, a perennial candidate, who did not appear to file a report with the FEC.
The special election is scheduled for May 7. Roll Call rates the 1st District race as Likely Republican.