SC Politics

South Carolina Senator Could Challenge Congressman Embroiled In Sex Scandal

Will Richard Cash mount a primary challenge against Jeff Duncan?

A South Carolina state senator said to be contemplating a 2024 primary challenge against incumbent U.S. congressman Jeff Duncan has scheduled a big announcement for later this month. And while an invitation to the event makes no reference to a congressional campaign, the advisory could signal the beginning of a credible challenge to Duncan – who is embroiled in a sex scandal involving a Washington, D.C. lobbyist.

State senator Richard J. Cash of Piedmont, S.C. alerted followers to an event scheduled for 10:30 a.m. EST on Saturday, January 20, 2024 at Christ Church in Anderson. According to an invite obtained by this media outlet, Cash is inviting supporters to join him “in building a dedicated force of 300 Christians who believe character counts and are committed to conservative and patriotic ideals.”

The goal of the gathering is “to restore the message of Faith, Family, and Freedom in our nation’s capital” and usher in a “resurgence of courageous leadership with Christian character in Washington.”

Wait a minute … “Faith, Family and Freedom?

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Readers will recall Duncan hosts an annual gathering called the “Faith and Freedom BBQ,” which has been a top political draw ahead of the quadrennial “First in the South” presidential primary election. Last year, however, Duncan was alleged to have departed for Washington, D.C. the day after this event – at which he touted his marriage to Melody Hodges Duncan – and proceeded “directly to the home of his paramour, Liz Williams.”

Liz Williams is a Jackson, Mississippi native and former National Rifle Association (NRA) lobbyist who has allegedly been involved in multiple extramarital extracurriculars in our nation’s capital. She is now reportedly in a public relationship with Duncan, who is doing his best to put the kibosh on this scandal.

Do voters still care about affairs in 2024? Even in South Carolina?

Not necessarily … but if there is a congressional district in the state where something like this could come back to haunt a politician, Duncan is in that district.

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Duncan, 57, of Greenville, S.C. was first elected to the U.S. Congress in 2011 – replacing former representative Gresham Barrett. As I have noted on multiple prior occasions, he has been a generally reliable conservative vote – as well as a pro-free market leader on energy issues. Duncan also has a boatload of cash in his reelection coffers, giving him an advantage over any prospective challenger.

Sources close to Cash have told this outlet the 63-year-old Jacksonville, Florida native would not run against Duncan unless he could be financially competitive. The fact he seems inclined to run would indicate he believes he can meet the financial burden associated with challenging an incumbent.

Assuming Cash, runs it would reprise a race from fourteen years ago.

In 2010, Cash actually defeated Duncan – then a state representative – in the initial round of GOP primary voting. Cash drew 20,923 voters (or 25.4 percent of ballots cast) compared to Duncan’s 19,051 votes (23.1 percent) in the Republican primary held on June 8, 2010. Because neither candidate won a majority of votes, though, a runoff election was held two weeks later on June 22, 2010. In that race, Duncan narrowly edged Cash – drawing 37,300 votes (51.5 percent) to Cash’s 35,129 votes (48.5 percent).

(Click to view)

U.S. congressman Jeff Duncan and state senator Richard Cash at Duncan’s “Faith and Freedom BBQ” in Anderson, S.C. on August 28, 2023. (Thomas Hanson/ Facebook)

Duncan coasted to victory that fall in this bright red district and has not been credibly challenged since. In fact, he has run unopposed in the GOP primary in the last six election cycles – and drawn only token opposition in the fall races. Last cycle, he failed to draw either a primary or general election opponent.

That was before his sex scandal made national news, however.

Cash has already called on Duncan to “repent before God, resign immediately, and make every effort to be reconciled to your wife and children.” The incumbent has made it clear he is not resigning, however.

Cash was elected to the S.C. Senate in May 2017 – winning a special election to fill the third district seat vacated by former S.C. lieutenant governor Kevin Bryant. He was reelected to a full term in 2020 and is up for reelection in 2024. For those of you wondering, Cash can campaign for the U.S. congress and for his seat in the Senate at the same time – but he would have to give up his Senate seat in the event he were elected to congress.

Cash also has the option of not running for reelection to the Senate to focus on his congressional race – again, assuming he decides to challenge Duncan.

Count on this media outlet to keep our audience apprised of the latest developments in this race – as well as the primary battle already underway in the neighboring South Carolina fourth congressional district.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Travis Bell Photography)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven (soon to be eight) children.

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5 comments

CongareeCatfish Top fan January 8, 2024 at 9:42 am

Upstate voters: if these affairs bother you [and they should], ask yourself why they don’t bother you when they were committed by Trump, multiple times. It’s a fair question. Is it because his affairs were not committed while in office? That seems to be about the only justification that I can think of. Meanwhile, DeSantis is the best governor in the country, a military veteran, and still married to the wife of his youth without any rumors of marital misconduct. Think about that if this aspect of character matters to you.

Reply
Walker Hough January 13, 2024 at 11:24 am

I am a fan of DeSantis. I believe him to be the best conservative running for President. I do not like Haley based on her actions while governor and some issues that came up during her first campaign. I have never trusted her. I’m concerned about what actions Trump may take in retribution to ‘even the score’ so to speak. Our government, under Democrats, has been socialized and weaponized instead of following the procedures to govern under our Constitution! In my 80 years of life I have never been this concerned over the survival of our Federalist Democracy! I fear another 4 years of Democrat rule will end this USA many of us love and sacrificed so much to defend her!! I believe DeSantis is our best hope in 2024.

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Tom January 17, 2024 at 1:35 pm

You guys are totally self-unaware. Give me an example of Joe Biden socializing anything. As far as our Democracy, is it a Democrat who said he would be a dictator on day one? Is it a Democrat who said he would end the Consitution if necessary for him to stay in power? Is it a Democrat who directed a mob to attack the US Capitol to stop the election of his successor? Is a Democrat who chanted lock her up in his first election and now says he plans to arrest his political opponents if reelected and wants to kill generals who will not support him is suppressing US Citizens who oppose him. Was it a Democrat who said he admired Putin, XI, and Kim Jong Un, and the way they rule their countries with an iron fist? Donald Trump and the Republican Party are the greatest threat to our Federalist Democracy in our lifetime. How you cannot see that is beyond me. Its because you are fed a constant stream of lies by Fox News and the right-wing media and Donald Trump.

Since Biden took office, Stock Market Up. GDP way up, unemployment is at a near record low, the home value of the average middle-class American up, manufacturing returning to the US at a record pace, the Russian economy in near collapse, the Russian army decimated without the loss of a single American life, the Chinese economy taking a backseat to the US economy and moving toward recession, the net worth of the average American at a near-record high and higher than under Trump, corporate profits up, we are producing more oil in the US than under Trump; and deficits lower than under Trump.

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Rob January 14, 2024 at 10:05 pm

Hypocrites – adultery, living with a DC lobbyist while the wife is back in South Carolina

Conservative Christian Values we know too well

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Frank January 17, 2024 at 1:54 pm

How in the name of God, could anyone who really believed in Faith and Family possibly support Donald Trump? The man has run around on all three of his wives and brags about groping married women and going backstage at the Ms. America Padgent so he could ogle young girls while they were changing clothes. Donald Trump is the Seven Deadly Sins embodied in one man.

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