U.S. Senate hopeful Vic Rawl has two things he didn't a few weeks ago -- a campaign manager and a different Democratic primary opponent.
Rawl had figured to face Mike Ruckes, a Ford Motor Co. retiree now living in Summerville, but Ruckes did not file.
Instead, Army and Air Force veteran Alvin M. Greene of Clarendon County jumped in and will face Rawl in the primary June 8.
Greene, who got out of the Army seven months ago, said he will talk about bringing jobs to the state.
"There are more people unemployed than any other time in the state of South Carolina's history," he said, "and I'm one of them."
Greene said he wants to see more funding for transportation projects, better school facilities and more diversity in the state's judiciary.
At 64, Rawl is twice Greene's age. While Greene is making his first run for office, Rawl has a lengthy resume, including service as a state representative, a circuit judge and, most recently, as a Charleston County councilman.
Rawl, who announced his candidacy last month, acknowledged that he is late to the game, but he decided to run after Rock Hill attorney Chad McGowan ended his Democratic bid.
Rawl said he would have been happy to support McGowan, but with him out of the race, Rawl felt it was important that the Democrats offer a viable choice to Republican incumbent Sen. Jim DeMint.
Rawl also said he likely wouldn't be running if his opponent was South Carolina's other Republican Senator, Lindsey Graham.
While he doesn't agree with Graham on many issues, Rawl said Graham's approach of reaching across the aisle to address issues is more in line with his approach than DeMint's.
"I guess I'm running to deliver for the people of South Carolina, not just deliver sound bites on cable TV news," Rawl said. "It's easy just to say 'No.' Ask any 2-year-old."
Rawl and the state Democratic Party took aim at DeMint recently over his living arrangement while in Washington.
The group Citizens for Reform and Ethics said the $950 per month rent that DeMint and other Republican congressmen have paid to stay at the C Street Center Inc. is less than market rate and should be reported as a campaign contribution or as taxable income, or both.
Rawl called for "a full, impartial investigation of these charges against Senator DeMint," but DeMint spokesman Ian Headley said, "This is a politically motivated attack that is without merit. Senator DeMint's living arrangements when he's in Washington comply with all rules and regulations."
Rawl hired campaign manager Walter Ludwig on Tuesday and has just started building a war chest that he hopes will give him a credible shot at DeMint, who had more than $3.2 million on hand at the year's start. DeMint first faces a primary challenge from Charleston lawyer Susan Gaddy.
"There's no question we're going to raise as much money as we possibly can," Rawl said. "We can raise enough to be competitive and enough to win. How much that is, I don't know."
Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771 or firstname.lastname@example.org.