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TIM SCOTT THE ONLY TOP-TIER GOP CANDIDATE TO SHOW AT CHAPIN EVENT

The top of the GOP ticket in South Carolina was nowhere to be found at the traditional kickoff of the Palmetto political season – Chapin’s annual Labor Day parade.

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley and lieutenant gubernatorial nominee Henry McMaster both bailed on the popular event – a snub which wasn’t lost on Lexington residents.  U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham also failed to attend.

“They didn’t show up at the Peach Festival in Gilbert and they didn’t show up today,” one Lexington resident told FITS. “Guess they don’t need Lexington County.”

McMaster was reportedly on vacation with his family.  Haley’s and Graham’s whereabouts were not immediately known.

Who did show up at the Labor Day parade?  Independent U.S. Senate candidate Thomas Ravenel and “independent Republican” gubernatorial candidate Tom Ervin – both of whom are looking to shake up the Palmetto State’s conventional “red versus blue” calculus this November.

The top two Democrats on the statewide ticket – S.C. Sen. Vincent Sheheen, and State Rep. Bakari Sellers – also made appearances.  In fact Sellers used the occasion to kick off his campaign’s grassroots effort, which features activists in all forty-six South Carolina counties.

The only big-name Republican to attend?  U.S. Sen Tim Scott, who reportedly had “almost the entire Lexington County legislative delegation” – including State Sen. Katrina Shealy – marching with him in the parade.

S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson – who hails from Lexington – also marched in the parade and attended the event in Gilbert in July.