SC Politics

SC3: ‘Quiet’ Congressional Contest Heats Up

Separation in crowded field?

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The race for South Carolina’s third congressional district hasn’t been quiet – it just feels that way given the headlines raining down on comparatively heated races for the Palmetto State’s first and fourth congressional districts.

The third district – which runs along the Georgia and North Carolina borders in the northwestern portion of the state – has been represented since January 2011 by incumbent congressman Jeff Duncan. It will feature a new face come 2025, however, as Duncan decided to step down in the aftermath of a sex scandal  involving a Washington, D.C. lobbyist.

Vying to fill the seat are several contenders: S.C. Air National Guard (SCANG) lieutenant colonel/ nurse practitioner Sheri Biggs, Kevin Bishop (a longtime press aide to U.S. senator Lindsey Graham) “MAGA evangelical” Mark Burns, Upstate businessman/ pastor Franky Franco and state representative Stewart Jones, to name a few.

Social conservative candidate Michael LaPierre filed for the seat but was booted from the ballot by the SCGOP over a residency issue.

Burns has made the biggest splash in recent weeks, receiving an endorsement from former U.S. president Donald Trump. The fiery orator also recently booked more than $91,000 for a cable television advertising run in the district – and is reportedly benefiting from the opposition research services of several pro-Trump political operatives.

Trump’s biggest Palmetto State supporter is not backing Burns, though.

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Biggs recently received the endorsement of S.C. governor Henry McMaster – who touted Biggs’ “faith, military service, and commitment to work with President Trump on the most pressing issues facing the nation.”

“I am proud to offer my enthusiastic endorsement of conservative Republican lieutenant colonel Sheri Biggs for Congress,” McMaster said in a news release from Biggs’ campaign. “Sheri Biggs epitomizes the greatness of the people of South Carolina – an unwavering belief in God, a commitment to selfless service, and a true resolve to fight for our shared values.”

Biggs – who has already spent more than $100,000 on campaign advertising – entered the most recent fundraising quarter with $314,417 in her war chest. That’s more cash on hand than every other candidate in the race – although the latest filings from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) do not reflect Burns’ recent cash infusion.

Bishop, Franco and Jones each reported having more than $100,000 cash on hand as of the end of the first quarter.

Jones was expected to be among the frontrunners for this seat, but he has been dogged by rumors of his alleged participation in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary election. Jones insisted he voted for Ron Paul in 2008.

“I have never in my life voted Democrat,” Jones told us. “In 2008, I was working on the Ron Paul campaign and voted for Ron Paul.”

Partisan primary elections will be held on June 11, 2024 in South Carolina. If no candidate receives a majority of ballots in a given race, runoff elections would be held two weeks later – on June 25, 2024. The general election – which does not feature a runoff requirement – will be held on November 5, 2024.

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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 eight children.

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