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Mike Campbell Staffs Up




There’s an old joke in Palmetto political circles about why the Campbell boys (a.k.a. the two politically inclined sons of the late Carroll A. Campbell, Jr.) have yet to find success the arena their father dominated in the 1980s.

“Mike’s too short, Tumpy’s too dumb,” the joke goes.

Wait … there’s a “Tumpy?” Yes … yes there is.

Mike Campbell has come the closest to tasting political victory – finishing first in the 2006 GOP lieutenant gubernatorial primary election before losing to incumbent Andre Bauer in a runoff race two weeks later. Campbell is running for the same seat again in 2014 – going up against former S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster and Gov. Nikki Haley’s hand-picked candidate, wealthy Lowcountry developer Pat McKinney.

On the Democratic side is fiscal moderate Bakari Sellers – who has been leading the charge against GOP plans to raise the state’s gas tax.

Does Campbell have a chance?

Sure …

In fact he’s put together an impressive team of operatives to manage his bid (there’s an “all the king’s horses” joke in there somewhere, we just couldn’t find it).

Leading Campbell’s finance team is Sara Brown, who has also worked for U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (RINO-S.C.) and U.S. Rep. Tom Rice (RINO-S.C.). Handling Campbell’s digital efforts will be former Mark Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer, who after a stint as executive director of the SCGOP now works for Wesley Donehue’s Push family of companies. Running Campbell’s political shop is another former SCGOP executive director – Alex Stroman.

Then there’s the guy who assembled this team – Campbell’s top consultant Hogan Gidley.

A senior strategist at Brabender Cox, Gidley previously served as national communications director for Rick Santorum’s presidential bid. Prior to that, he was director of communications for Mike Huckabee and executive director of “HuckPAC.” Before that he, too,¬†served as the executive director of the SCGOP and worked on behalf of a number of Republican candidates, including U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole (RINO-N.C.).

He’s also a friggin’ beast in the gym, ladies …

So … can this assemblage of talent lift Campbell through a brutal GOP primary against two well-funded opponents?

Guess we’ll find out soon enough …