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SC-5: Cash Money Status

“FIGHTIN’ FIFTH” CAMPAIGNS FILE FINANCES … Candidates for South Carolina’s fifth congressional district released their campaign finances this week – providing a key indicator of who will have the resources to compete as the special election for the “Fightin’ Fifth” approaches its homestretch. Six “Republican” candidates are vying to replace…

“FIGHTIN’ FIFTH” CAMPAIGNS FILE FINANCES …

Candidates for South Carolina’s fifth congressional district released their campaign finances this week – providing a key indicator of who will have the resources to compete as the special election for the “Fightin’ Fifth” approaches its homestretch.

Six “Republican” candidates are vying to replace Mick Mulvaney – who vacated this seat two months ago to become director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  Mulvaney won the fifth district in 2010 – defeated former U.S. House budget chairman John Spratt in the Tea Party wave election.

Frontrunner Tommy Pope – the speaker pro tempore of the S.C. House of Representatives – reported raising $196,000 (to which he added a $30,000 loan).  Pope spent roughly $83,000 – leaving him with approximately $140,000 to spend.

Former S.C. Rep. Ralph Norman – who has been battling ferociously with Pope in the northern part of this predominately GOP district – reported raising roughly $285,000 against $185,000 in expenditures.  Norman added a $305,000 loan, though, leaving him with more than $400,000 on hand.

Camden, S.C. businessman and S.C. State Guard leader Tom Mullikin reported raising $235,000 – which included a $144,000 loan.  His campaign spent $179,000 – leaving him with $59,000 on hand.  However, Mullikin reportedly loaned his candidacy another $80,000 after the most recent filing period closed, leaving him with $139,000 to spend.

The most disappointing filing?  That of former SCGOP chairman Chad Connelly.  The social conservative stalwart raised roughly $190,000 – but spent $177,000.  His campaign has just over $12,000 to spend as this race hits its critical stretch.

Social conservative activist Sheri Few reported raising just over $78,000 with nearly $38,000 on hand.  Totals for Indian Land, S.C. attorney Kris Wampler were not immediately available.

If no GOP candidate draws a majority of voters on May 2, the top two finishers will advance to a runoff election on May 16.  The winner of that head-to-head matchup will be the GOP nominee for the June 20 special election.

Three democrats are vying for their party’s nomination and several third-party candidates have launched bids as well, but the GOP nominee will be difficult to beat in this recently redrawn district – which was won overwhelmingly by Mulvaney last fall against a well-funded Democratic candidate.

Speaking of well-funded Democratic candidates, Sumter, S.C. tax attorney Archie Parnell had a big fundraising haul – raising an estimated $247,000.  However we suspect his support will dry up when liberal donors  learn he initially inquired about running for this seat as a Republican.

Stay tuned for that story in the next few days …

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