COLUMBIA, SC (AP) — Three women are competing for the Democratic nomination to face U.S. Senator Tim Scott, who said it will be his last term if he is re-elected.
Scott faces no Republican opposition and has raised $44 million for his quest for a second full six-year term.
His Democratic opponents are a state representative from the Charleston area, a local Democratic leader from Spartanburg, and an author and conservationist from Colombia. Together, they raised about $130,000 for the primary, according to Federal Election Commission reports.
Scott, the only black Republican in the US Senate, was one of South Carolina’s most popular politicians. He was a congressman when the then governor. Nikki Haley appointed him to the Senate seat, which remained vacant when Jim DeMint resigned in 2012.
Scott won more than 60% of the vote in both a special election in 2014 and in his successful bid for his first full term in 2016.
He’s also been touted by some as a potential presidential nominee for 2024, although he hasn’t mentioned it himself. Scott has made several trips to Iowa, where during a visit last week a woman called out for him to run for president. Scott deftly turned and replied, “From my homeowners’ association.”
On the Democratic side, the candidate who raised and spent the most money is South Carolina’s Krystle Matthews, who raised $90,000. Matthews is the only one of the three candidates to have previously won an election. She is also running for a third term for her seat in the Berkeley County House of Representatives.
Matthews said she wants to change a toxic culture that leads senators and other leaders to disenfranchise minorities and other people who need protection most.
Catherine Fleming Bruce is an author who has worked on conservation projects for civil rights sites throughout Colombia. She supports health care for all and the passage of federal legislation to strengthen voting rights. She was the foreman of the state grand jury investigating corruption in the General Assembly, which led to indictments against several Republican lawmakers in 2016 and 2017. In 2019, she lost a Columbia City Council race.
Angela Geter is an Air Force veteran and former chairwoman of the Spartanburg County Democratic Party. She also owns an accounting firm and was South Carolina’s delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention. She wants to work to bridge a gap between Democrats and Republicans that she says has grown so wide that some politicians don’t even accept indisputable facts. Geter lost a primary special election for a seat in the Spartanburg County House of Representatives in 2017.
Scott has touted his conservative credentials and delivered a prime-time speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention. But he’s also taken note of his work with Democrats on the police reform legislation.
Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP.