Graham faces tough opponents

  • Friday, April 25, 2014

Det Bowers


U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham is headed into the June 10 Republican Primary with a war chest about 10 times the size of his closest opponent.

According to the Federal Election Commission, as of March 31, Graham, the Seneca resident, raised $873,178 during the first quarter of 2014, giving him more than $6.85 million cash-on-hand.

The candidates were required to file the latest quarterly reports by April 15.

In the past six years, Graham has collected more than $11.6 million in campaign contributions.

His spokesman, Scott Farmer, said the senator – first elected to the Senate 2002 – is “ incredibly humbled by the thousands of South Carolinians who have supported Team Graham with their time and money”

Two of the biggest issue Graham and his opponents are asked about are the Affordable Healthcare Act, commonly called Obamacare, and the military.

Graham, whose voting record on some issues has caused him to come under fire from the Tea Party and some other conservative groups, has been very vocal about what he calls the unanswered questions still surrounding the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Graham, who is facing a tough primary challenge, has been highly critical of President Barack Obama’s foreign-policy.

“This budget by President Obama guts our defense. It is the smallest army since 1940, the smallest Navy since 1915 and the smallest air force in modern history,” he said. “If you’re going to modernize your military for future conflicts, this budget will not allow you to do it.”

About the Healthcare Act, Graham – during a recent Fox News interview – said “the worst is yet to come.” He has repeatedly voted to defund the Healthcare Act.

“When the employer mandate hits, companies all over this country are going to drop coverage on their employees. It’d be cheaper to the pay the fine than it will be to cover the employees.”

Despite his claims to be doing what he can to defund Obamacare, Graham came under fire by some Conservatives for a vote in September in which he, and 24 other Republican Senators voted in favor of invoking cloture on the House-passed continuing resolution to fund the government which allowed Democrats to keep the Healthcare Act funded.

Graham’s Party Primary opponents:

Det Bowers

As of Thursday, the FEC did not have a candidate filing for Bowers, although his campaign- earlier this month - released financial information.

According to his campaign, Bowers collected $417,367 for the period and leaving him with $384,250 cash on hand.

Bowers, of Estill, S.C, practiced law for nearly 20 years and was involved in real estate development, agribusiness, outdoor advertising and insurance. He and his wife, Pauline, have three sons and five grandchildren who all live in Columbia.

Along with his law degree, he earned his Masters of Divinity from Columbia International University.

About the military, Bowers said “as the singular super-power in the world, we have a substantial responsibility to conduct our economic, diplomatic and military goals in a reasonable and responsible manner.”

On Healthcare, Bowers says Obamacare “is unaffordable for America’s taxpayers even as it encroaches upon individual liberty and free enterprise.”

Bowers says he supports term limits.

“Two terms were appropriate for our first President to accomplish the task of state-craft and two terms are fully adequate for a United States Senator.”

Lee Bright

Bright, of Spartanburg, had raised $296,024 as of March 31 and had $78,556 on hand.

Bright was elected to the State Senate in 2008.

He and his wife, Amy, have two children. He is director of business development for BBD, LLC and operates a trucking brokerage business.

On the military, Bright says America “can no longer afford to be the first-responder for every problem around the world. It is time for our allies to begin shouldering a larger share of their own defense.”

About Obamacare, Bright says he will support the repeal of the law in its entirety. He says he will oppose any bill or budget resolution that provides funding to implement or enforce any part of it.

Bill Connor

Connor, of Orangeburg, had raised $423,832 as of March 31, according to the FEC.

He is a Citadel graduate and an attorney and law partner for Horger and Connor, LLC.

He served for more than a decade as a Regular Army Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army.

He has never held political office but is a former candidate for the Leutennant Governor’s position. He has also served as 6th District Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party.

He and his wife Susan have three children Peyton, Brenna, and Will.

He also serves on the State Board of “Youth Challenge”.

On the military, Connor says he does see “the unique ability of our nation to aid other nations in democratization and freedom, but the policies we have taken and the regimes we have supported in the last few years has been detrimental to America and other nations.” He says he will work to “protect our strong military as a means to peace, and stand firm when our vital national interests are at stake. I believe the support for Israel and facing the danger of radical Islam is within our national interests.”

On Obamacare Connor said he will work to have it repealed and support “affordable, private sector-based Healthcare for all Americans that does not lower overall quality and delivery.”

Benjamin Dunn

Dunn, of Columbia, is a partner with the law firm Holler, Garner, Corbett, Ormond, Plante & Dunn.

As of March 31, according to the FEC, he had raised only $10,400.

He served as an infantry officer in the South Carolina Army National Guard for over nineteen years. He and his wife, Maureen, have four children.

Dunn describes Obamacare as “a catastrophic failure and major embarrassment for Democrats.” He says it “must be repealed and thrown on the ash heap of history” but adds doing so “will not fix the underlying issue of unsustainable inflation in healthcare costs.”

He suggests allowing individuals the same tax breaks for purchasing health insurance as those currently enjoyed by employers. He also says competition should be increased to allow health insurance companies to offer policies across state lines.

Dunn also wants healthcare providers to publish their charges for medical services and expand the scope of practice for Registered Nurses, Certified Nurse Practitioners, and Physician ’s Assistants so that a wider range of basic care may be provided without the direct involvement of a physician.

Dunn says the U.S military is “the most efficient, effective, and lethal fighting force in history.” He said America needs to be “deliberate and circumspect in using military power because there are no short wars.”

Nancy Mace

Nancy Mace, of Charleston has raised $208,000 in this quarter. She has raised a total of $602,000 with $223,000 cash on hand.

She and her husband, Curtis, have two children and she is the owner of The Mace Group, a consulting and marketing firm she founded in 2008.

Mace was the first woman to graduate from The Citadel and is the author of the book “In the Company of Men: A Woman at The Citadel.”

On the military, Mace says “because of the selfless men and women in our armed forces, national defense is one of the few things our federal government does well, and we must make smart investments in personnel, training and technology to support our men and women in uniform.”

She says only the Congress can declare war and “before making such a declaration, we ensure we have looked at all possible options.” She also said she does not support U.S. aid and weapons being supplied to countries that burn our flag, train terrorists or that threaten American interests at home or abroad.

Mace supports the defunding of Obamacare. She said the Act will “suffocate individual liberty and further stifle economic growth. We must use any means possible to repeal, defund and ultimately stop Obamacare.”

Richard Cash

Richard Cash, of Anderson, has raised $715,417, according to the FEC and had 463,786 on hand as of March 31.

He and his wife, Marcia, have eight children.

He is self-employed as a computer programmer and analyst.

On the military, Cash says Islamic terrorism is the chief immediate threat to our national security followed by authoritarian regimes left over from communism.

“We must put greater emphasis on securing our land borders, our ports, anti-missile technology, and cyber security. We should stand with our allies, such as Israel, while avoiding conflicts and entanglements in which we have no vital national interest.”

Cash does not address his views on Obamacare on his website.

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