Brad Hutto to run for U.S. Senate seat held by Graham

State Sen. Brad Hutto
State Sen. Brad Hutto

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - State Sen. Brad Hutto has announced he will seek the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Lindsey Graham.

In a statement sent to supporters, Hutto says Washington DC is "broken" and it's "time for new leadership."

Hutto also touts his 100 percent rating from the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce as another plus for his candidacy.

"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," said Hutto in the statement. "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."

Hutto is the second Democrat to declare a campaign for this seat. The other, Jay Stamper, declared his candidacy several months ago.

Graham currently has over $7 million reserved in his campaign re-election bank account.

Graham has already drawn a number of primary challengers, including state Sen. Lee Bright, Pastor Det Bowers, former lieutenant governor candidate Bill Connor, businessman Richard Cash, consultant Nancy Mace, attorney Benjamin Dunn, and former Spartanburg police officer Dave Feliciano.

In the last Winthrop Poll, Graham drew 45 percent of support from GOP-leaning voters. While that number misses the 50 percent threshold for avoiding a runoff, Graham still commands a towering lead over his nearest opponent, Bright, who has just 8.5 percent of support.

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