South Carolina to have first openly gay Republican Senator?


Ever since South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham failed to support Sen. Rand Paul’s epic filibuster, there have been rumors circulating of potential primary challenges to end what will be a 12 year run next year.


After Graham sided with Sen. John McCain’s characterization of Paul and his allies as “wacko birds” the interest in unseating him reached a fever pitch.

Already thrown around have been State Senator Lee Bright and State Senator Tom Davis, neither of whom have made assertive efforts to jump in yet.

This weekend, South Carolina politico, and the first woman to ever graduate from The Citadel, Nancy Mace, was also mentioned as a potential run.

But Mace wasn’t ready to make any commitments, telling me, “[I] would like to see a credible candidate step up. It’s past time to bring the republican party together in such a way that we do not sacrifice our most basic of principles in the process.”

But today comes news that conservative blogger and activist, Bruce Carroll, is exploring a run against Senator Graham and he’s not being cagey about it. Carroll told me, “I was inspired by Sen Rand Paul’s ardent defense of the Constitution last week. It made me conclude that Senator Graham is out of step with his state’s voters on a variety of issues.” He went on to say that, “Sen. Graham has lost touch with his state. That’s why I’m looking into how I can be a part of the effort to bring him home from Washington, DC.”


Carroll is also an openly gay conservative that sat on the board of directors for the group GOProud, currently best known for its long standing spat with CPAC over the ACU’s decision to deny GOProud sponsorship of the conference. Carroll says he is resigning his post with the organization in favor of pursuing this effort:

In the interest of transparency and honesty, I informed my fellow GOProud board members that I could not dedicate time to the organization while I seriously considered the effort it might take to challenge Senator Graham in the 2014 Primary.

Lisa De Pasquale, Board Chairman of GOProud, told me of Carroll’s potential run, “I am thrilled by our beloved GayPatriot’s annoucement about his future plans. GOProud’s loss could be South Carolina’s gain!”

Chris Barron, Chief Strategist and co-founder of GOProud emailed me that, “Bruce has been an invaluable member of the GOProud team and will always be a part of the GOProud family. We look forward to supporting Bruce in whatever endeavors he undertakes in the future.”


In 2012, South Carolina Senator Jim Demint resigned from the Senate opting to take the position of President of the Heritage Foundation. Tim Scott of Charleston, South Carolina was appointed to his seat and will run for reelection in 2014.

With primary rumors and announcements heating up for Graham, as well as Nikki Haley’s reelection bid and Tim Scott looking to keep his appointed seat, South Carolina could see a major political shakeup in the next election.


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