Mande Wilkes Is In …
Myrtle Beach, S.C. author, TV host and social media starlet Mande Wilkes made it official on Thursday – she’s running for the U.S. House of Representatives.
The provocative local personality (and favorite of coastal Tea Partiers) has pledged to run an unscripted campaign for the state’s newly-drawn seventh congressional district – hoping to contrast her revealing brand of libertarianism with the status quo leanings of her GOP opponents.
“We’ve all seen those commercials in which a glamorous young woman stops traffic just by walking by,” Wilkes said in a press release announcing her bid. “That’s what I’ll do in Washington – I’ll walk in the Capitol with my big provocative ideas about tiny government and I’ll stop D.C. in its tracks. Those boys won’t know what him ’em.”
Wilkes becomes the third Republican to announce her candidacy – joining former S.C. Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer and S.C. Rep. Thad Viers (R-Horry), who is a source of constant entertainment for us here at FITS.
Florence attorney Jay Jordan is planning to jump into the race next week, while S.C. Rep. Alan Clemmons (RINO-Myrtle Beach) is also expected to announce his candidacy at some point. Other candidates considering bids include S.C. “fortunate son” Carroll A. Campbell III and S.C. Rep. Philip Lowe.
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley has offered an unusually strong endorsement of Viers’ candidacy – which we’re sure has nothing to do with the allegation that she and Viers had a one-night stand at a 2006 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conference in San Francisco.
Anyway, the 2012 race will be Wilkes’ second bid for elected office. In 2010, she was beaten by incumbent S.C. Rep. Nelson Hardwick in the race for South Carolina’s 106th State House district.
Incidentally Hardwick, Clemmons and Viers are all mixed up in the “Coastal Kickback” scandal, an ongoing investigation into serious “pay-to-play” allegations involving a Myrtle Beach tax increase that directly benefited the local tourism mafia.
On the Democratic side S.C. Rep. Ted Vick has formed an exploratory committee but is reportedly holding off on announcing until the district lines are set by the U.S. Justice Department. Vick was in Washington, D.C. early this week meeting with officials at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Meanwhile, Moses Dixon – a former staffer to U.S. Rep. John Spratt and U.S. Majority Leader Harry Reid – is also reportedly eying the district on the Democratic side.