Graham far ahead in funds


Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham continues to lead the pack in fundraising with more than $7.6 million cash on hand for his re-election, his campaign reported.

Graham's spokesman said he collected more than $1.3 million between October and December 2013, making the final quarter of the year his second-best fundraising period.

"Sen. Graham has been blown away by the incredibly strong support from every corner of South Carolina," campaign manager Scott Farmer said.

The time frame includes the 16 days of the federal government shutdown, when both sides of the political aisle blamed each other for bringing Washington to a standstill.

The individual list of donors was not immediately available online, but some of the financial supporters identified by the Graham campaign include William Hubbard, a member of the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees and president of the American Bar Association; Rudi Gresham, former senior advisor to the Department of Veterans Affairs in the George W. Bush administration; and Bob McNair, owner of the Houston Texans and alumnus and donor to the University of South Carolina.

The state's other Republican senator, Tim Scott of North Charleston, reported raising $433,000 in the last quarter of 2013, leaving him with about $3.1 million cash on hand.

The Graham camp said it collected more than $5 million in all of 2013, raising his total collected for the entire six-year election cycle for the seat to more than $10.7 million.

Friday was the deadline for federal candidates to report their fundraising totals for the last three months of 2013 to the Federal Election Commission, though not all those in the running were ready to share their numbers with the media. Graham has four announced GOP challengers in the June Republican primary.

One of his opponents, Berkeley County businesswoman Nancy Mace, listed raising around $253,000 in the quarter, with $241,000 cash on hand. Upstate businessman Richard Cash listed $255,400 cash on hand. Two other hopefuls, Orangeburg attorney Bill Connor and state Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, did not immediately share their results.

The only announced Democrat for the Senate seat held by Graham - Jeremy Stamper, who recently moved to South Carolina from Washington state - listed about $3,350 cash on hand.

Scott's opponents also were slow in declaring their fundraising. Announced Democratic challenger Rick Wade did not raise any funds in November or December and so didn't file an FEC report, a spokesman said.

Wade, of Columbia, had been a senior advisor to Barack Obama's presidential campaigns and was a cabinet officer for former Gov. Jim Hodges.

The other Democrat in the running for Scott's seat, Richland County Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson, did not respond to multiple phone and email messages.

Elsewhere, the campaign of Charleston's Republican 1st District U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford said it raised more than $160,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013, leaving him $323,000 on hand.

Sanford's numbers come after he went through three elections for the open 1st District seat last year. They included a GOP primary, a runoff with second place finisher Curtis Bostic, and then the general election against Elizabeth Colbert Busch.

No challenger to Sanford has come forward.

The report for longtime veteran 6th District U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-Columbia, also was not immediately available; he has no serious challenger.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551