Now that all of the 4th quarter disclosures are published, there is some shape to the race to remove Lindsey Graham from office and install a candidate that will actually vote conservative values.
We're going to take a brief look at each of the candidates with pros and cons and give our take on how things stand
We've posted beside each candidate the amount of campaign cash they each have on-hand. Lee Bright's number is correct as he trails the others substantially in campaign funds.
Bill Connor - $223,563 Campaign cash on hand
Bill Connor has the potential to be a US Senator in the mold of Jim Demint, Ted Cruz or Rand Paul. Bill is a 23 year US Army Airborne Ranger, highly decorated for service including combat experience in Afghanistan. Connor has written for years regarding his conservative values and his passionate in his protection of the US Constitution.
Extremely conservative on fiscal and social issues.
Military experience uniquely qualifies Connor on a wide variety of foreign policy issues
Has run a statewide campaign before and garnered over 100k votes in a 4 way race in 2010, making it to a runoff.
Spoke at the very first TEA Party rally in South Carolina in February of 2009, ignoring the advice of politicians avoiding it, including some in this race.
Being a combat veteran, the only one of the challengers that is, can appeal to the veteran vote which is a backbone of Lindsey Graham's support.
Very well-spoken. Performs extremely well in debates and public forums.
Financial disclosure shows great success as small business owner, attorney and wife is a very successful physician.
Graduated from the Citadel and the USC School of law.
Massive steering committee made up of strong, influential conservatives both state and nationwide. Including Maj Gen Paul Vallely and former GOP Greenville chair Stephen Brown.
Never held elected office. Not tainted by deals or favors.
Never held elected office - While Connor was chairman of the SC GOP 6th district, has never been elected to office.
Wears fiscal and social conservatism on his sleeve. Lindsey Graham will appeal to moderates and democrats voting in open primary because of it.
Holds a firm line regarding foreign policy which is likely to alienate many of the isolationist Ron Paul supporters.
Lee Bright - $49,459 Campaign cash on hand
While Lee Bright has always voted conservatively in the SC State Senate, his hardline, fringe Ron Paul philosophy has alienated him with fellow senators, including the most conservative. Has not received any endorsements from well-known elected officials he's served with.
As a SC State Senator, always voted for conservative issues.
Likable guy with the "aw shucks" crowd
Not afraid to stand his ground
Endorsed by the Rep Liberty Caucus, a Ron Paul based group.
While he doesn't answer the complex questions directly, speaking ability appeals to crowds.
Never had a bill of which he was primary sponsor be passed into law. Inability to get enough support from fellow state senators would not transfer well to US Senate.
Aligned himself with the "Ron Paul" crowd which consists of only 10% of primary voters. Endorsed Ron Paul during the 2012 Presidential primary.
Has not attended college, has high school degree
Massive business failure and owes up to $3 million to various creditors. Not a good situation for a possible US Senator
Because of alignment with Ron Paulers, unable to raise enough money to compete legitimately. Lack of financial success also keeps Bright from donating to his own campaign as the others have done substantially.
Nancy Mace: $241,200 Campaign cash on hand
First female graduate of the Citadel
Prior to leaving her job last year to be a stay-at-home Mom, successful PR exec
Background shows strong-willed and ability to overcome adversity
While she didn't serve in military, most of male members of family did or do
Liked by media because of female Citadel background
Very good fundraiser
Dreadful showing at debates and forums. Unable to articulate responses to complex questions on potential role as US Senator
No grassroots support
Unwillingness to hit the ground and speak to groups around the state
Before selling her stake just before entering race, was co-owner of Fitsnews.com and partner of Will Folks, the blogger who claimed he had an affair with SC Governor Nikki Haley.
Richard Cash: $255,432 Campaign cash on hand
Father of 8 children so experienced with governing large bodies
Very strong conservatively on social and fiscal issues. Like Connor, wears conservatism on his sleeve
Another likable guy
A bit too likable, would get trampled in Washington
While extremely conservative, lack of any experience with foreign policy or political maneuvering.
There are things we like about each of the candidates above but its clear that Bill Connor is the only one capable of beating Lindsey Graham in a runoff and representing SC conservatives correctly in Washington. While Mace has raised some money, her lack of ability to articulate her stances is a drawback.
The immense debt and alignment with the Ron Paul crowd means Lee Bright is the candidate that the Lindsey Graham campaign would most want to see in a runoff, if there is one. Having up to $3 million owed to creditors basically means Bright cannot speak credibly on our national debt and regardless of whether he would or not, the perception would be he could be coerced into pushing legislation because of money owed.
Graham's campaign will continue to try and take away Connor's credibility. They already have the liberal newspapers around the state labeling Bill Connor "Orangeburg Attorney" instead of Citadel Grad, 6th Dist GOP chair, US Army Airborne Ranger, highly decorated combat veteran or something more fitting as they're labeling the others. Graham's campaign DOES NOT want to see Connor gain any additional ground and do see him as the most able to defeat Graham in a runoff.
There's over 4 months left until the primary and Connor's campaign is steadily gaining steam, in spite of what the bogus polls put out by the Bright and Graham campaigns would like you to believe. Those polls were bought and paid for by each of those camps and stated what the campaigns wanted them to.
Either way, we are 100% behind Bill Connor and will continue to push for Lindsey Graham's removal from elected office. His support for Barack Obama and the liberals has gone way too far and the time has come to put an end to Liberal Lindsey's charade.
By the way, we conducted our own poll and find Lindsey Graham at 35%, Connor at 24%, Mace 11%, Cash 5% and Bright 2%. 33% were undecided.
See how that works?