First on CNN: Graham opponent has impressive fundraising haul
April 8th, 2014
12:01 AM ET
9 years ago

First on CNN: Graham opponent has impressive fundraising haul

Washington (CNN) – Could Sen. Lindsey Graham finally have a credible primary challenger in South Carolina?

Det Bowers, a politically-connected Columbia pastor, collected over $417,000 in the two months since he made a late entry into the GOP Senate primary in February, a source close to the first-time candidate told CNN.

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That sum pales in comparison to the war chest amassed by Graham, who raised $8 million as of the last reporting period and has already run a slew of television ads, but it’s the most substantial fundraising haul to date for any of the senator’s six little-known conservative primary challengers.

That Bowers raised the money in the span of just two months, nearly all of it from in-state donors, makes the figure even more impressive. Bowers, though, has devoted nearly all of his time to fundraising and remains something of a non-entity on the campaign trail. He’s had few public events and even fewer interactions with the media.

Still, with the June 10 primary fast approaching, Bowers’ fundraising total could persuade hesitant outside groups to get involved in the race.

Well-funded conservative organizations eager to unseat Graham, outfits like the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks, have been eyeing the race to see if any of his challengers gain traction, either financially or in the polls. But no candidate has managed to break free and emerge as a singular threat to Graham, and none have raised the kind of money needed to beat him.

If no candidate wins a majority of the vote in the primary, the top two finishers will face a two-week runoff election.

Filed under: 2014 • Lindsey Graham • Senate • Senate Primaries • Senate Republicans • South Carolina
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    A pastor? I rather have ms Lindsey keep his job!

    April 8, 2014 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  2. Tampa Tim

    Graham received money from Sheldon Adelson, and will soon introduce a bill in the senate to outlaw online gambling. A coincidence?

    April 8, 2014 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    He will not get my vote, no matter how much money he has. We need a true conservative.

    April 8, 2014 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Does this "politically connected pastor", Det Bowers, still have an active, tax exempt congregation as he campaigns for office? I see the church leader of a tax exempt organization, which may or may not have helped raise money, running for political office as a major problem. First, there's the potential for political activities by a tax exempt group. Second, I fully support the concept of separation of church and state and would oppose anyone who would seek to undermine it.

    April 8, 2014 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  5. salty dog

    All about the money, listening to this makes clear why the gop destroyed legislation designed to curb corruption, that's their only chance, literally.

    April 8, 2014 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  6. salty dog

    A pastor, to represent the tea party, I'm reminded of a roof inspection from my house purchase. The man I hired to do it, told me the roof leaked everywhere and needed to be torn off, and redone, quote of 9000 $, stapled to that, was a church flyer, and prayer card ( like from a funeral ). Turns out after hiring another more credible guy, he told me my roof was fine, and he could replace and repair, (like the other quote ) three times for that price. A wolf in sheep's clothing

    April 8, 2014 08:31 am at 8:31 am |