COLUMBIA, SC -- Patch has confirmed that Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, will seek the Democratic nomination for the First Congressional District.
She will file her candidacy papers on Tuesday according Amanda Loveday, Executive Director of the South Carolina Democratic Party.
Colbert-Busch is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Clemson University’s Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility. Previously, she was the Director of Business Development for Clemson University’s Restoration Institute. The Mount Pleasant resident has three children and two grandchildren and deep ties to the Lowcountry. This will be her first foray into public life.
Based on name recognition and her ability to compete financially, Colbert-Busch’s entry gives the Democrats a chance to win a House seat that has long been Republican. It gave Mitt Romney 58 percent of its vote last November. The filing period begins today and lasts until Jan. 28.
Including Colbert-Busch, seven Republicans and three Democrats have confirmed plans to run for the seat made vacant by Tim Scott’s appointment to the Senate. As of Friday morning, they are:
- Former Gov. Mark Sanford (R)
- Former State Sen. John Kuhn (R)
- Teddy Turner (R)
- Sen. Larry Grooms (R-37)
- Rep. Andy Patrick (R-123)
- Rep. Chip Limehouse (R-110)
- Former Dorchester Co. Sheriff Ray Nash
- Bobbie Rose (D)
- Martin Skelly (D)
Sanford is the early favorite on the Republican side, but Republican insiders have told Patch they’re not sure he’s ready for the public stage so soon after the scandal that ended his marriage and forced him to repay the state of South Carolina more than $70,000. Should Sanford survive and emerge as the Republican nominee, the prospect of him squaring off against Colbert-Busch in a general election is sure to be riveting and will no doubt receive national attention.
Stephen Colbert raised hundreds of thousands of dollars via his own Super PAC for his own faux political aspirations. Speculation is already rampant as to whether or not Colbert will ramp up the Super PAC for his sister or appear in SC1 on her behalf.
The news rippled through the Palmetto State. Longtime political consultant Chip Felkel said, "The seat leans to the GOP and will likely remain so, but given her brother's celebrity, and her likely ability to capitilize on that in raising cash, it might mean the Democrats can be competitive. That said, it means that if GOP voters are serious about keeping the seat, they need to nominate a candidate who can weather a barrage of outside money in the general election."
Important Dates for the SC 1 Race:
- Jan. 18 - Filing period opens and ends at noon on Jan. 28.
- Feb. 16 - Last day to register to vote in primary.
- April 6 - Last day to register to vote in general election.
- March 19 - Primary Election Day.
- April 2 - Run-off from primary. Top two finishers from primary in the event no one candidate receives 50 percent plus one of the total vote.
- May 7 - General Election Day.