Three women are competing for the Democratic nomination to take on U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, who said this will be his last term if he is reelected.
Scott has no Republican opposition and has raised $44 million for his pursuit of a second full six-year term.
His Democratic opponents are a state representative from the Charleston area, a local Democratic leader from Spartanburg, and an author and preservationist from Columbia. Combined, they have raised about $130,000 for the primary, according to Federal Election Commission reports.
Scott, who is the U.S. Senate’s only Black Republican, has been one of South Carolina’s more popular politicians. He was a congressman when then-Gov. Nikki Haley appointed him to the Senate seat left open when Jim DeMint resigned in 2012.
Scott won more than 60% of the vote both in a 2014 special election and in his successful bid for a first full term in 2016.
He is also being touted by some as a potential 2024 presidential candidate, although he has not mentioned it himself. Scott has made several trips to Iowa, where during a visit last week a woman shouted he should run for president. Scott deftly pivoted, replying “of my homeowner’s association.”
On the Democratic side, the candidate who has raised and spent the most money is South Carolina Rep. Krystle Matthews who has taken in $90,000. Matthews is the only one of the three candidates to previously win an election. She is also running for a third term for her state House seat in Berkeley County.
Matthews said she wants to change a toxic culture that she said leads senators and others in power to strip away the rights of minorities and other people who need protection the most.
Catherine Fleming Bruce is an author who has worked on preservation projects for civil rights sites around Columbia. She supports health care for all and passing federal legislation to bolster voting rights. She served as foreperson on the state grand jury that investigated corruption in the General Assembly, leading to indictments of several Republican lawmakers in 2016 and 2017. She lost a Columbia City Council race in 2019.
Angela Geter is an Air Force veteran and former chairperson of the Spartanburg County Democratic Party. She also owns an accounting firm and was a South Carolina delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention. She wants to work toward bridging a gap between Democrats and Republicans, which she said has gotten so wide that she said some politicians don’t even accept indisputable facts anymore. Geter lost a primary special election for a state House seat in Spartanburg County in 2017.
Scott touts his conservative credentials and got a primetime speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention. But he has also noted his work with Democrats on police reform legislation [Seattle Times].
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
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