It may be a Republican seat, but the first day of filing for the 1st Congressional District race has been a story on the Democratic side.

Millionaire Lowcountry businessman Martin Skelly of Charleston has entered the field as a Democrat. Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, sister of Charleston-born comedian Stephen Colbert, is also jumping in. She works for Clemson University's Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility.

In announcing his filing for the seat, Skelly's campaign also said he has loaned his campaign $250,000 “to demonstrate his strong commitment to running a strong race.”

More coverage

To read more political news, go to

The cash infusion gives Skelly an immediate advantage in a shortened campaign in which candidates will be sprinting to raise money as quickly as possible. Skelly attributed his bid to dysfunction in Washington.

Meanwhile in Columbia, former Charleston County councilman Curtis Bostic, and current School Board member Elizabeth Moffly, are among those the state Republican Party anticipates to be early in getting their filing paper work in, a spokesman said.

The two are among at least 10 Republicans interested in filling the vacancy created when Gov. Nikki Haley picked incumbent Tim Scott as the state's new U.S. senator after Jim DeMint resigned.

A call to the state Democratic Party was not immediately returned on their potential candidate list. Candidates for federal office must file in person at their respective party headquarters.

The schedule has the filing period open until Jan. 28. Afterward, primaries are set for March 19, with runoffs, if needed, April 2. The general election will be May 7.

Candidates who've also declared on the Republican side include: state Sen. Larry Grooms; former state senator John Kuhn; state Rep. Chip Limehouse; former Dorchester County Sheriff Ray Nash; State Rep. Andy Patrick; former school board member Larry Kobrovksy; former governor Mark Sanford;, and educator and maritime enthusiast Teddy Turner III.