SPARKS ALREADY FLYING IN CONTENTIOUS CONGRESSIONAL SPECIAL ELECTION …
With the race to replace former U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney officially underway, it’s not surprising to see the crowded Republican field moving quickly to stake out ideological ground … and score some political points.
To wit: South Carolina fifth district congressional candidate Ralph Norman‘s decision to resign his state legislative office is putting pressure on his former colleague (and current opponent) – S.C. Speaker pro tempore Tommy Pope – to follow suit.
Norman’s campaign claimed via press release this week that the 63-year-old real estate developer “timed his resignation to ensure the special election for his house seat will coincide with the special election for Congress, a move that will save taxpayers around $35,000.”
We couldn’t immediately verify that claim, but it sounds about right …
“It will save money … not sure about the amount,” a source familiar with state election budgets told us.
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“I’ve always been a principled conservative and I do everything I can to look out for the taxpayers and citizens of this state,” Norman said.
Well … almost everything.
Norman’s move isn’t about saving taxpayers a few shekels, though, it’s all about draining political capital away from Pope – who has said he intends on remaining in his leadership post in the S.C. House during the upcoming campaign.
In addition to Norman and Pope, former state Republican party chairman Chad Connelly of Prosperity, social conservative activist Sheri Few of Lugoff, businessman and State Guard leader Tom Mullikin of Camden and attorney Kris Wampler of Indian Land are also seeking the GOP nomination for the fifth district.
No Democrats have stepped forward at this point to express an interest in this predominately GOP district.
UPDATE: Looks like Pope is not taking the bait.
Banner via Travis Bell Photography