Colbert to run for Congress
January 18th, 2013
03:49 PM ET
1 year ago

Colbert to run for Congress

(CNN) - After years of speculation and anticipation from fans, there will be a Colbert on the South Carolina ballot this spring.

But it isn't the television talk show host who is running for a seat in Congress.

Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, the sister of Stephen Colbert, will seek the Democratic nomination in South Carolina's 1st Congressional District, the seat left vacant by Tim Scott's appointment to the Senate to replace Jim DeMint, two sources told CNN.

It is the seat also being sought by the state's former Republican governor and congressman, Mark Sanford, as well as others on both sides of the aisle. An investor named Martin Skelly is also seeking the Democratic nod.

The district leans Republican, but that could work in Colbert-Busch's favor, as she has voted in at least three Republican primaries, including 2010, according to a Republican source.

Any Democrat who has name identification and the ability to self-fund a campaign would be welcomed by the blue team, though her bid is considered a long shot.

Colbert and his family are Charleston natives.

He plays a conservative commentator on his weeknight comedy television program and has publicly flirted with bids for the White House and the U.S. Senate.

His bids peaked in seriousness in 2007, when he filed papers for the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary. But even that wasn't completely serious: he would have run for the Republican nomination, but filed instead for the Democratic ballot because the GOP $35,000 filing fee was too expensive. The Democrats, however, declined to put him on their ballot.

Colbert solved his political money issues when he created a super PAC, "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow," in 2011 and raised over $1 million.

That money went, among other things, to back the candidacy of "Rick Parry" - identical in every way to Texas governor and 2012 presidential candidate Rick Perry, in every way except the spelling of his name.

Then he considered his own run for the White House, which stalled because he had missed the filing deadline by several months. Instead, he rallied in favor of Herman Cain, who had earlier ended a presidential bid but remained on the South Carolina ballot. After Cain lost, Colbert announced he was "re-suspending Herman Cain's suspended campaign."

Gov. Nikki Haley shut down his professed interest in the DeMint Senate seat last month but thanked him for "the thousands of tweets you and your fans sent me." Colbert had encouraged the social media campaign, saying on his program, "Folks, I'm not going to sit here and say I should be South Carolina's next senator - not when so many other people are saying it for me."

He also testified before Congress - in character - in 2010 and held a rally on the National Mall alongside Comedy Central's other funnyman, Jon Stewart.

– CNN's Peter Hamby and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report


Filed under: South Carolina • Stephen Colbert
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Amber

    It's sad, I was so excited at the thought of Stephen Colbert running for office.

    January 18, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. frank panger

    In politics he would't be the funniest.

    January 18, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. John

    Congress is already filled with jokers. Colbert will feel right at home.

    January 18, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  4. Prank Fanger

    I hear his sister has his ear

    January 18, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |