State Senate challenger Dwayne Green has raised twice as much campaign cash as incumbent Sen. Robert Ford, a sign that their Democratic primary showdown might be one of the Lowcountry's closest races this June.
Green, who has raised more than $60,000 and still has about $25,000 on hand, said he was pleased to have such support. "Incumbents have a natural advantage," he said. "I know that finances are only half the battle, but it's encouraging. I hope it will help me to get my message out."
Ford has reported raising $31,698, including a $2,000 loan and a $5,000 contribution from the South Carolina Democratic Caucus. He has $5,896 on hand.
Ford said Tuesday the contributions don't foreshadow a close race, partly because of his style of politics and because of his frequent mailings to voters.
"The type of issues I get involved with would be against a lot of big industry and lawyers," he said, "so a lot of time you run in conflict with the people who write checks. My primary concern is looking out for the people. The people don't make major contributions, if any."
Green, who is a lawyer, said he was pleased so many of his fellow lawyers have contributed to his bid. "Their livelihood is based on interpreting the law and sound legislation. The fact that they would put their faith in me over an incumbent is an honor, and I think it's telling."
All figures are according to campaign disclosure forms filed last week and posted online by the State Ethics Commission.
In the other Lowcountry Senate primary, incumbent Randy Scott, R-Summerville, has raised $57,943 and has $27,514 on hand. His GOP challenger, former Sen. Mike Rose, has raised $13,247 and has $2,321 on hand.
Rep. Heyward Hutson, R-Summerville, reported raising $2,502 for his re-election rematch against GOP challenger Jenny Horne, who reported raising $25,847 and spending more than $14,000. Hutson has spent little to date.
Rep. Annette Young, R-Summerville, has raised $83,546 toward her re-election bid — among the most of anyone involved in a June primary fight. She still has about $80,600 in the bank. Her Republican challenger, Tara Bussajas, had no campaign disclosure form on file, according to the Ethics Commission Web site.
In Charleston County, the three Democrats seeking to replace Rep. Floyd Breeland, D-Charleston, have varying amounts of cash on hand as their race enters its last several weeks.
Charleston City Councilman Wendell Gilliard reported having about $8,000 on hand, while 6th Congressional District staffer Clay Middleton has about $13,100. Former Charleston City Councilman Maurice Washington reported having about $783 on hand.
Meanwhile, District 112 GOP hopeful and Mount Pleasant Town Councilman Joe Bustos reported raising $3,461 and had $757 on hand. His primary opponent, Isle of Palms Mayor Mike Sottile, r eported raising $20,950, all of which he had yet to spend. Both are seeking to replace Rep. Ben Hagood, R-Sullivan's Island.
Democratic District 115 hopeful Eugene Platt reported raising $2,010, while his primary opponent Anne Peterson Hutto reported raising $8,417 and having about $8,100 on hand. The winner will face incumbent Wallace Scarborough, who reported having raised $16,203 and having $12,312 in the bank.
Among the three Republicans seeking the District 117 seat, which covers parts of Berkeley and Charleston counties, Charleston County Council Chairman Tim Scott seems to have a big advantage. Scott reported raising $70,383 and having $63,258 on hand. Challenging him are Berkeley County Councilman Bill Crosby, who had raised $2,347 and had $659 on hand, and Wheeler Tillman, who had no report listed.
Voters encouraged to register, update info
Those wishing to vote in South Carolina's June 10 Republican or Democratic primary must register by May 10. Anyone who has moved to another county must register there.
State Election Commission Executive Director Marci Andino said all voters should check their voter registration cards to ensure their information is correct. They also may check their status by calling or visiting their county voter registration offices.
Those who want to register can stop by their county registration office or get a form from the Voter Information section of scvotes.org and mail it to their county registration office.