Former South Carolina Republican Gov. Mark Sanford and Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch each raised more than $300,000 for their campaigns for a vacant House seat in the Charleston area, a reflection of their high name recognition.
Sanford raised $334,000 through Feb. 27, according to a filing yesterday with the Federal Election Commission. Donors included billionaire energy executive David Koch, Wyoming investor Foster Friess and Fred Malek, the founder and chairman of Thayer Lodging Group Inc.
Colbert Busch, a business development official with Clemson University and an older sister of the political satirist Stephen Colbert, took in $319,000 from donors including Charleston mayor Joe Riley and state Democratic chairman Dick Harpootlian.
Colbert Busch’s campaign received $500 from Trevor Potter, a lawyer who advised a super-political action committee that Stephen Colbert promoted on his Comedy Central program.
Sanford, seeking a political comeback after acknowledging an extramarital affair with an Argentinian, is among 16 Republicans seeking South Carolina’s 1st District seat in the March 19 primary. If no candidate wins a majority, a runoff will be held April 2 between the top two vote-getters.
Some of Sanford’s rivals for the Republican nomination are partially self-funding their campaigns.
John Kuhn, a businessman and former state senator, loaned his campaign $500,000, or 91 percent of his $550,000 in campaign receipts. Teddy Turner, a son of billionaire media executive Ted Turner, provided $245,000 of the $376,000 he raised. State Senator Larry Grooms loaned $100,000 to his campaign, which raised $324,000. Curtis Bostic, a trial lawyer and former county councilman, was the source of $100,000 of the $187,000 he raised.
Colbert Busch, one of two Democratic candidates, is likely to win her party’s nomination outright and advance to the May 7 special election.