State Sen. Larry Grooms said Friday he was shocked to learn someone was pushing a write-in campaign on his behalf for the 1st Congressional District — and he urged voters not to do so.
“My campaign is over,” said the Bonneau Republican, who placed third in the 16-way March 19 primary for the seat. “I’m asking people please don’t write my name in.”
On Thursday, the Conservative Campaign Committee PAC announced it was launching a write-in campaign for Grooms, calling former Gov. Mark Sanford “not a viable candidate.”
“I’m flattered that they believe I can win as a write-in, but I cannot,” Grooms said. “All I would do is hurt the chances of the Republican nominee.”
That nominee, Sanford, has been battling back after a self-admitted “rough week,” one where news broke that his ex-wife had filed a trespassing complaint against him in Family Court.
“I knew there were some flaws that Mark Sanford had that would be exploited in the campaign, and it’s happening,” Grooms said.
In its announcement, the Conservative Campaign Committee said it’s a foregone conclusion at this point that Sanford is not a viable candidate in this race, and spokesman Ryan Gill said its write-in campaign will proceed despite what Grooms said.
“We’re a third-party outside group, so we’re actually barred from talking to candidates we support anyway,” he said, adding the group is raising money for radio and TV ads.
Grooms said while he appreciated the Conservative Campaign’s support in his primary bid, he took an oath to the GOP that he would not run for the seat in another capacity if he lost the primary, “and I take that oath seriously.”
Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.