Gamecocks Blast CSU, Now Await Bama

A week after a painful loss against North Carolina, the University of South Carolina football team got into the win column on Sept. 7, walloping Charleston Southern 72-10 at Williams-Brice Stadium. It was a solid debut for freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski, who was thrust into action after senior Jake Bentley injured his foot at the end of the UNC game. Hilinski passed for 282 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for another touchdown against the Bucs. The Gamecocks got big games from running backs Kevin Harris and Mon Denson. Harris picked up 147 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns, while Denson had 118 yards and a touchdown. South Carolina had 775 yards of total offense and 493 yards rushing, both school records. The Gamecocks moved to 1-1 on the year with the win. USC is now set to face No. 2 Alabama on Sept. 14. That game will be at 3:30 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally on CBS. — Chris Trainor

Bailey Set to Challenge for Seat Held by Finlay

​Columbia attorney Rhodes Bailey announced he will seek the District 75 seat in the state House of Representatives in 2020. That seat currently is held by Republican state Rep. Kirkman Finlay, who is in his fourth term. A Florence native and University of South Carolina School of Law graduate, Bailey is a resident of the Hampton Leas neighborhood. He’s also a member of the country rock band Whiskey Tango Review. Bailey says, if elected, he’d push for education reform and dam safety in South Carolina, and would look to end corruption in the Legislature. He also says Finlay is part of a “wasted decade” at the State House. “Legislators like Kirkman Finlay have squandered the last decade with do-nothing politics that divide people and ignore real priorities like schools, roads, dams, healthcare, climate, gun safety, and virtually every other issue of public significance,” Bailey said. “We can do better, and we have to do better because our kids are counting on us.” In his last two elections, Finlay easily dispatched his Democratic opponents. He beat Tyler Gregg in 2016, and downed John Crangle in 2018. — Chris Trainor

Biden Picks Up Endorsement from Vincent Sheheen

Former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic candidate for president, is picking up an endorsement from influential state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, according to The State’s Maayan Schechter. Sheheen, a Kershaw attorney who has been in the state Senate for 15 years, was the Democratic nominee for governor in 2010 and 2014, falling to Nikki Haley in both of those races. He endorsed Martin O’Malley in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary in South Carolina. “I don’t do this normally,” Sheheen told Schechter. “I am very focused on South Carolina as a state elected official, and I always have been. I’m a small town guy, entrenched in the community and … I’ve always tried to stay South Carolina focused.” Biden continues to poll ahead of the large Democratic field in early voting South Carolina. The primary is on Feb. 29. — Chris Trainor

Mark Sanford is Running for President

Facing monumentally longshot odds, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford announced on Sept. 8 that he will challenge fellow Republican President Donald Trump for the White House, launching a campaign centered on Washington spending but also on where the party is headed. The announcement came during a nationally televised in-studio appearance onFox News Sunday on the conservative-leaning news network Trump is known to watch regularly. “I think we need to have a conversation on what it means to be a Republican. I think that as a Republican Party, we have lost our way,” Sanford said in his interview with Chris Wallace in Washington. The former Charleston congressman has been privately considering a presidential bid since he left office in January and has been publicly exploring its viability for nearly two months. He is basing his run on a warning that the Republican Party is at an “inflection point” after three years of the Trump presidency, though he is making attention to the ballooning national debt his focal point. “We need to have a conversation about humility,” Sanford also said during the interview as he noted Trump’s penchant for commenting by tweet “is not leadership.” With his entrance into the race, Sanford, 59, becomes the third GOP candidate to formally challenge the president in the 2020 contest. The two other candidates are former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh. — Caitlyn Byrd, The Post and Courier

We're improving out commenting experience.

We’ve temporarily removed comments from articles while we work on a new and better commenting experience. In the meantime, subscribers are encouraged to join the conversation on our Free Times Facebook page.