Sanford Arrington

U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford and GOP primary challenger Katie Arrington.

With the June 12 primary elections approaching, congressional candidates around South Carolina continue to ramp up their fundraising.

Here is the latest picture of the cash raised in some of the more competitive 2018 races based on the January-March filing reports that were due Sunday.

1st District, Charleston to Hilton Head

U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-Charleston, raised $162,000 in the first three months of 2018 for his re-election, besting all but one of his four challengers.

Sanford holds a commanding money lead overall versus his competition in the 1st Congressional District race, with $1.7 million cash on hand, according to the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission.

While Sanford's numbers show a slight uptick from the previous reporting period, he has so far been relatively quiet on the campaign trail while one of his Republican primary challengers, state Rep. Katie Arrington of Summerville, has already launched a small round of TV ads.

Arrington reported adding some $310,000 to her campaign war chest for the quarter that ended March 31, but $250,000 of that total came from a loan Arrington made to her campaign.

 Democrat Joe Cunningham led the district's fundraising for the quarter, hauling in $221,000 in contributions. That's about 36 percent more than Sanford did from January through March. An ocean engineer and attorney, Cunningham had just under $220,000 in his campaign's bank account at the end of the quarter.

Democrat Toby Smith, a self-identified protest candidate in the race, has also started raising campaign funds since announcing her run in mid-March. Smith reported close to $7,500 in contributions with about $1,000 coming from the candidate herself.

4th District, Greenville-Spartanburg 

Upstate businessman and radio talk show host Josh Kimbrell outraised all other candidates in the first two months of the crowded Republican primary race to replace U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy. But state Sen. William Timmons, R-Greenville, jumped out to a big cash lead by kicking in more than half a million dollars of his own money.

Kimbrell, the former Spartanburg GOP chairman, brought in more than $200,000 between launching his campaign in late February and the end of March, according to his FEC report. With a $50,000 loan from the candidate, his campaign had more than $250,000 in the bank to end the filing period.

Timmons raised around $130,000, but he loaned his campaign $540,000, bringing his total cash-on-hand to more than $636,000.

Other top contenders in the 13-candidate primary include state Rep. Dan Hamilton, R-Greenville, and former state Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg. Hamilton raised around $134,000 and Bright collected $126,000 in the early stages of the campaign.

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Easley Pastor Mark Burns, who served as a prominent surrogate for President Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, raised about $110,000. Burns did not receive a single donation of more than $200 from anyone in South Carolina, with the vast majority of his contributions coming from Florida. 

Most other candidates, some of whom only launched their campaigns shortly before the filing period ended, lag far behind in the money race.

5th District, Rock Hill and Midlands

U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman, R-Rock Hill, appeared to kick his fundraising efforts into gear in the first three months of the year after a slow start to his re-election bid, closing a gap that had emerged between him and top Democratic challenger Archie Parnell at the end of 2017.

Norman raised $323,000 in the first three months of the year to Parnell's $213,000. Parnell also contributed another $90,000 loan to his campaign.

The two candidates are now neck-and-neck overall, with Parnell at $415,000 and Norman at $407,000. Norman beat Parnell by just 3 percent in a surprisingly close special election last year.

The latest addition to the race, former professional clown Steve Lough, also began raising money for his campaign but remains way behind Norman and Parnell with just $2,000 in the bank.

South Carolina congressional fundraising 2018 Q1

Candidate District Party Raised Spent Cash-on-hand
Mark Sanford (i) 1 Republican $162,154 $20,397 $1,715,158
Katie Arrington 1 Republican $57,496 (+ $250,000 loan) $101,526 $387,329
Joe Cunningham 1 Democrat $221,623 $96,676 $219,347
Toby Smith 1 Democrat $7,449 $5,344 $2,104
Joe Wilson (i) 2 Republican $142,691 $182,324 $610,618
Annabelle Robertson 2 Democrat
Sean Carrigan 2 Democrat
Jeff Duncan (i) 3 Republican $112,460 $44,840 $211,040
Mary Geren 3 Democrat $50,221 $33,332 $26,218
Hosea Cleveland 3 Democrat
Josh Kimbrell 4 Republican $208,460 (+ $50,000 loan) $5,651 $252,809
Dan Hamilton 4 Republican $134,151 $10,054 $124,097
Lee Bright 4 Republican $126,459 $3,916 $122,544
Shannon Pierce 4 Republican $33,155 $14,497 $18,658
Mark Burns 4 Republican $109,601 $30,831 $78,769
William Timmons 4 Republican $130,210 (+$540,000 loan) $33,097 $636,112
Stephen Brown 4 Republican $8,500 (+ $35,000 loan) $11,152 $32,347
John Mosser 4 Republican $11,200 (+ $4,000 self-fund) $6,396 $8,803
Barry Bell 4 Republican $785 (+ $3,000 loan) $3,721 $63
James Epley 4 Republican
Lee Turner 4 Democrat $16,908 $8,674 $15,669
J.T. Davis 4 Democrat $5,005 (+ $1,500 loan) $5,588 $1,016
Brandon Brown 4 Democrat $12,270 $0 $14,067
Will Morin 4 Democrat $28,256 $24,138 $4,409
Eric Graben 4 Democrat $54,775 $3,987 $50,787
Ralph Norman (i) 5 Republican $323,048 $15,855 $407,704
Archie Parnell 5 Democrat $213,461 (+ $90,000 loan) $123,072 $415,016
Steve Lough 5 Democrat $818 (+ $5,040 self-funding) $4,609 $2,069
James Clyburn (i) 6 Democrat $219,184 $100,545 $892,507
Tom Rice (i) 7 Republican $132,100 $52,903 $1,039,288
Bruce Fischer 7 Democrat
Bill Hopkins 7 Democrat $50,980 (+ $2K self-fund) $21,994 $31,735
Robert Williams 7 Democrat
Mal Hyman 7 Democrat $9,762 $7,250

Follow Jamie Lovegrove on Twitter @jslovegrove.

Jamie Lovegrove is a political reporter covering the South Carolina statehouse and congressional delegation. He previously covered Texas politics in Washington for The Dallas Morning News and in Austin for the Texas Tribune.

Political Reporter

Caitlin Byrd is a political reporter at The Post and Courier and author of the Palmetto Politics newsletter. Before moving to Charleston in 2016, her byline appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times. To date, Byrd has won 17 awards for her work.