SC’s US Senate incumbents have millions on hand

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has $7.6 million in campaign funds while fellow Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott has $3.1 million on hand for next fall’s campaigns, giving them a formidable money advantage over their opponents.

The numbers come from their 2013 year-end fundraising reports filed with the Federal Election Commission and due on Friday.

The reports show Graham raised $1.3 million in the fourth quarter of last year, the second-best fundraising quarter Graham has ever had, his campaign said.

Graham, first elected to the Senate 14 years ago, faces State Sen. Lee Bright as well as Nancy Mace, the first woman cadet to graduate from The Citadel, and Anderson businessman Richard Cash in the June GOP primary.

Cash raised about $76,000 in the last quarter of 2013 and had $255,000 on hand at the end of the year.

Year-end reports for Mace and Bright had not been posted on the FEC website by midday Friday, but reports filed at the end of the third quarter showed Mace with $112,000 on hand and Bright with $74,000 in the bank.

Mace’s campaign website said Friday the campaign had raised $385,000 during 2013, although it did not indicate how much of that remained in cash on hand. Orangeburg attorney Bill Connor’s campaign said he raised $253,796 last year despite entering the race in November, and had $223,563 on hand.

Democrat Jay Stamper’s year-end report showed he had $3,300 for his race for Graham’s seat.

Graham’s campaign raised $5 million during 2013.

Sen. Graham has been blown away by the incredibly strong support from every corner of South Carolina,” campaign manager Scott Farmer said in a news release. “The momentum continues to build, and we’re looking forward to a spirited campaign on Senator Graham’s conservative record.”

Scott, appointed in late 2012 by Gov. Nikki Haley to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the resignation of Jim DeMint, raised about $433,000 during the fourth quarter. Scott is running his first statewide campaign to finish the last two years of DeMint’s term.

There were no spending numbers for Scott’s two Democratic opponents, Joyce Dickerson and Rick Wade, on the FEC site.

Meanwhile, South Carolina’s incumbent U.S. congressmen have more than $2.7 million combined in their campaign accounts. The 2013 year-end reports from five of the state’s seven incumbents were posted Friday.

Fourth District U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy has $390,000, while Tom Rice in the 7th District has about $353,000 and 1st District U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford has $323,000. Mick Mulvaney in the 5th District has about $222,000 on hand, while 3rd District Rep. Jeff Duncan has $156,000. All are Republicans.

Reports from Republican Joe Wilson in the 2nd District and Jim Clyburn in the 6th were not posted by midday. But reports posted showed Wilson with more than $220,000 on hand at the end of September, while Clyburn had more than $1.1 million in his campaign fund.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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