Three candidates – a notable name, a newcomer and a non-stop, naysaying novelty – have entered the Democratic Party’s slate for the upcoming special election in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District.
Filing for the race, which follows Tim Scott’s resignation after his appointment to an empty Senate seat, closed at 12 p.m. today.
Elizabeth Colbert-Busch might not have the national recognition of her brother (political comedian and TV star Stephen Colbert), but she’s quite well-known in the Lowcountry.
She’s worked directly with the Port of Charleston, and through many avenues: intern with the State Port Authority, board member of the Propeller Club, chair of the Maritime Association, founder of the Charleston Women in International Trade organization, and Director of Business Relations for port-user OOCL.
A College of Charleston grad, she serves on the Alumni Advisory Board for her alma mater’s business college, and since 2008 works as Director of Development for Clemson University’s Restoration Institute in North Charleston.
A Virginia native, Martin Skelly has resided in Charleston for only about six years. He’s been active in the community throughout, though.
He once served as president of the Father’s Club at Porter-Gaud, where his children attend school, and was an interim director at Trident Technical College in Charleston.
His work in international trade is evident in Skelly’s campaign, which focuses to date on the economy. “We live in the greatest country in the world, but our dysfunctional Congress is standing in the way of our economy.
“The people of South Carolina don’t want to sit back while the chaos in Congress pushes us closer to an economic meltdown,” Skelly says; “they want a sensible path forward to get our spending under control, achieve energy independence and create good jobs.”
The last to file, and just before this morning’s 12 noon deadline, was Ben Frasier, who has run for office in all but two election cycles since 1972.
Frasier stood out in the 2010 race with a platform that seemed identical to Republican candidate Tim Scott’s – he advocated lower taxes on wealth, and spoke openly against labor unions.
“We need to forge new and lasting solutions to the crises that have befallen South Carolina,” he said this afternoon, stating that employment was the district’s biggest need.
Bobbie Rose, the Democratic nominee for this office last year, withdrew her bid this morning. She stated intentions to examine the candidate slate before announcing any endorsement.
The winner of the Democratic primary will face whichever of the 16 Republican candidates takes the nomination.
The primary race for each party takes place March 19, followed by runoff (if necessary) on April 2.
A general election to fill the vacant seat is scheduled for May 7.