I wonder why Hutto isn’t running against Scott instead of Graham?

This just in:

Brad Hutto announces run for U.S. Senate

“Washington, D.C. is broken – and it is time for new leadership in Washington, our current leaders have become part of the problem,” says Hutto

 Orangeburg lawyer and State Senator Brad Hutto announced that he has filed to run for the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Lindsay Graham.  Hutto, a Democrat, represents parts of Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton, and Orangeburg counties in the state legislature.Brad Hutto

In announcing his candidacy, Hutto set his sights on Congressional gridlock. “Washington is broken, and we need someone from outside of the Beltway to help improve life for South Carolinians.  We send billions of tax dollars to D.C. every year yet we have crumbling roads, failing schools, and struggling rural communities to show for it. And both sides are to blame.”

While serving in the State Senate, Hutto received a 100% rating from the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce for his pro-business record.  In the Senate, Hutto often leads the fight to improve schools, promote renewable energy options, and protect our natural resources.  Hutto is often in the forefront of causes to insure the individual rights and liberties of all.  He is known for his commitment to children and is an active member of the South Carolina Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children.

“We need a leader in the Senate who will spend more time talking to folks in Barnwell, Bishopville, and Beaufort than appearing on Sunday morning talk shows.  I will focus on job creation with special emphasis on rural South Carolina,” said Hutto.  “We need to require our overseas allies to accept a larger role in their own security so that we can start refocusing attention on rebuilding roads and schools in our own country.”

Recent polling highlights Graham’s vulnerability, with polls consistently showing that even Republican primary voters – where he should be strongest – have reservations about his extended tenure in D.C. 

Hutto lives in Orangeburg with his wife of 28 years, Tracy, a pediatrician.  His son Skyler is a student at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law.  Hutto graduated from the Honors College at the University of South Carolina and received his law degree from Georgetown University.  Hutto, an Eagle Scout, is a Past President of the Boy Scouts’ Indian Waters Council that serves South Carolina’s midlands region, and he remains active with Scouting on many levels.



My first thought in reading the headline was, OK, so maybe Tim Scott will have some opposition in the general.

Then I saw that he’s running for Graham’s seat. Which doesn’t make sense. He cites this as his reasoning:

Recent polling highlights Graham’s vulnerability, with polls consistently showing that even Republican primary voters – where he should be strongest – have reservations about his extended tenure in D.C.

Which is just kind of inside-out partisan thinking. Yes, Hutto is one of the more enthusiastic partisans on the Democratic side in the Legislature. But it really takes a particularly simplistic, dualistic view of the politcal world to say, “even Republicans… have reservations” about Graham. “Even” Republicans? Republicans are the people Graham has trouble with. Not Democrats, particularly. Certainly not independents. Assuming Graham can secure his renomination — and he most likely will, after some discomfort — he’s going to blow past anyone who opposes him in the general as though that hapless individual is standing still.

Is this not obvious to everyone?

Why is everybody and his brother lining up to run against Graham — “even” Democrats? While Scott gets a relative free ride, in terms of not having anyone opposing him likely to make him break a sweat.

It’s weird…

26 thoughts on “I wonder why Hutto isn’t running against Scott instead of Graham?

  1. Doug Ross

    I think Mr. Hutto nailed it with his line “We need a leader in the Senate who will spend more time talking to folks in Barnwell, Bishopville, and Beaufort than appearing on Sunday morning talk shows.”

    Graham has become too enamored with the limelight. His swings back-and-forth from conservative hawk Lindsey before elections to “can’t we all get along?” Lindsey after elections is blatantly obvious. It’s all about him and keeping his contributors happy.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      First, Graham spends plenty of time talking to the folks back home.

      Second, that’s not what I elect a U.S. senator to do. I prefer he be on the talk shows, if that’s the only choice I get. Mostly, I’d like him to be studying up on issues, engaging in debate — actual debate, not posturing for the faithful — and voting thoughtfully and wisely. Graham does those things quite well.

      Speaking of the talk shows — which I never see, on account of them being on Sunday morning…

      While working out last night, I saw the episode of “West Wing” when Sam gets his clock cleaned on a talking-head show by this little girl who looks about 16 years old — whom the White House hires, so I suppose she’ll be a recurring character.

      It was a good episode, because ultimately it was about getting past the partisan barrier. The girl, as it turns out, is a super-sharp advocate for the Republican point of view, with a sharp eye for the weaknesses in the positions of the denizens of the West Wing. She has to overcome the knee-jerk response of both the Democrats in the White House and her Republican friends to see the virtues in people with whom she disagrees.

      A very UnParty episode. I might watch it again tonight…

  2. Kathryn Fenner

    Um, Scott is from the Lowcountry and Hutto won a district there, and the Lowcountry skews more Democratic. He should run against Scott!

  3. Norm Ivey

    Scott certainly seems to be the more vulnerable of the two, but his seat would only be a two-year term, wouldn’t it? Could that be Hutto’s consideration?

  4. Juan Caruso

    Every good trial lawyer must seize on opportunity to prevail. In this case, Hutto can establish himself, win or lose this contest, as a serious contender for a U.S. seanate seat. Moreover, 2014 represents a “golden” opportunity for a Dem challenger — one way or the other, it will be the last primary run-off Graham will ever have to face.

    In other words, Graham has been weakened already by the sheer number of his Republican challengers.
    Should Graham win, which Hutto considers likely in view of Dem crossover votes, Hutto intends to trounce him in 6 years, providing Haley beats Sgeheen again, which Hutto must also consider likely.

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      I would think the sheer number of primary challengers dilutes the opposition strength, rather than strengthening it, and they are all to the right of him, to boot. Normal voters, closer to the bulky mean, will vote for Graham over any more conservative challengers.

      1. Juan Caruso

        Provided the “voters closer to the mean” turn out in numbers sufficient to offset the 80,000 irate SC voters who stayed home in the 2012 election, but will turn out in force this time, AND provided the others do not vote a straight Democratich party ticket as most of have been accustomed to doing.

        Moreover ineligible voters are going to have a tougher time slipping through the system for the first time. The sheer number of challengers this year reflects dissatisfaction with RINOs AND desperation by Tea Party opponents. As you and I both know, several straw men (and women) voting as conservatives are being funded by non-conservative entities.

        Should be a very interesting and entertaining battle. Does Sen Sheheen support Harold Mitchell’s bill to ubdo the SC “stand your ground aw”? He will soon need a cogent answer, or risk showing his lawerly dodge again.

  5. bud

    I find it interesting that Sheldon Addelson, billionaire casino mogul, is donating money to the Graham campaign (and others in the GOP) and now Graham is about to introduce a bill outlawing internet gambling.

    1. Doug Ross

      If the CEO of SCAN A wants a meeting with Graham to discuss some regulatory issue, you think he gets that meeting?

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        And even if no campaign donations were in the mix, I bet SCANA gets their calls returned promptly.
        I gave Sheheen a nice donation, but I doubt he knows who I am.

      2. Barry

        Probably – but they would anyway- because they are a large company in South Carolina.

        My father is a nobody- and Senator Graham has returned his calls several times over the past few years. It wasn’t a “meeting” – but my dad didn’t need a meeting anyway.

      3. Doug Ross

        Why do YOU think companies donate money to politicians? Especially those that donate different amounts to different politicians?

          1. Doug Ross

            Then those meetings should be recorded and available for review. He works for us, not for the people who donate to his campaign.

            1. Barry

              I’m not sure about that.

              For one thing- they could be discussing company business interests- and that in of itself isn’t the business of the public necessarily.

              How the elected representative feels or votes on an issue is public business.

              Plus, there are numerous meetings all the time. Who in the world is going to video tape that and put it on a website? Talk about throwing money down the toilet.

            2. Doug Ross

              Really? Storage of video is pennies per gigabyte.

              Company business is different from government business. Those meetings are typically used to try and limit competition or give them an advantage they don’t deserve. Many of the rules and regulations are never voted on on… just passed thru a government agency.

              Would you want a drug company to get help with a drug patent?

  6. Barry

    Most Democrats in South Carolina won’t support Brad Hutto (and don’t know who he is).

    I’d guess he’s doing something with the future in mind- maybe running for Congress- but this will get his name out there.

  7. Ralph Hightower

    Hutto’s not getting my vote because he’s a Democrat. Graham is not getting my vote because he’s a Republican, even though he knows the art of compromise. But the atmosphere in DC has been so toxic for years, that I am not voting for a Democrat or a Republican for the US House or Senate.
    I’m disgusted with this partisan gridlock! It’s time that we get rid of these spoiled brats that want to take their “ball, bat, and glove” home when they don’t get their way. We need adults in Congress who know how to work with each other.


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