- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Democrat Rick Wade has dropped his bid for the South Carolina U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Tim Scott.

The former U.S. Commerce Department official and member of former Gov. Jim Hodges’ cabinet said in a statement on Thursday that he does not have enough time to raise the money needed to defeat Scott in November.

“I certainly had no illusions about being able to match a multimillion dollar campaign war chest,” the Columbia businessman said in a news release.

“But after a couple of months as a candidate, I’ve concluded that the timing of my entrance — less than a year before Election Day — had compressed the calendar too much for me to raise the money needed to mount a serious challenge,” Wade said.

Wade, who was deputy chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke during the Obama administration, announced his candidacy last December. He also served as director of the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services during the administration of former South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges.

Federal Election Commission filings show that Scott has just over $3 million on hand for November’s special Senate election. There was no fundraising filing on the FEC website for Wade.

Scott was appointed in December of 2012 to fill the unexpired term of U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, who resigned to head a conservative think tank. A special election in November will fill the final two years of DeMint’s term. Another election for the full six-year term is set in November 2016.

While Scott has no announced GOP opposition, Democratic Richland County Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson is running for the seat in November. Federal Election Commission filings show she has $4,600 in her campaign coffers.

There will be simultaneous races for South Carolina’s two U.S. Senate seat in November.

In addition to the race for Scott’s seat, incumbent Republican Lindsey Graham is seeking a third term in Washington. Graham, who has $7.6 million in his campaign war chest, faces a primary challenge from five Republicans. A Democrat also seeking his seat.

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