An opening in the US House of Representatives for South Carolina’s 1st District has a lot going for it that your average congressional race lacks – particularly for a district that isn’t generally known as a battleground.
The district mainly encompasses the coastal portion of the state, including Charleston and running south to the Georgia state line. The opening was set in motion by the retirement of Jim DeMint (R-SC). He was replaced by Tim Scott (R-SC), who was representing the 1st in the House, setting up the current election to seat a replacement.
The Democratic nomination was won by a connected individual – Elizabeth Colbert Busch. She is the sister of Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert, who has been actively engaged in her fund-raising activities.
The Republican candidate is former governor Mark Sanford, who was also a former member of Congress, and who brings baggage to the campaign – in particular, he became nationally famous for abandoning his family while serving as governor. His victory in the Republican primary, along with Busch’s unusual advantages, has given the Democrats hope for capturing the seat they might not normally enjoy.
The fact that this is an off-November election in an off-year makes it attractive to outside funding sources anyway. Political action committees have no other game going on at the moment, so they may feel free to spend some cash in SC-1 to either gain or defend the seat, depending on which candidate they are inclined to support.