Graham avoids runoff, secures Republican nomination for U.S. Sen - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Graham avoids runoff, secures Republican nomination for U.S. Senate

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS/AP) -

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has secured the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.

Graham's challengers had argued he was not conservative enough. But Graham, who has been in office since 2002, had a hefty fundraising advantage.

He has raised more than $12 million since his last re-election bid in 2008, while none of his opponents passed the $1 million mark.

"I want to thank the good Lord," Graham said during his victory speech. "I want to thank the voters. Without you, we would be crying right now. To those who voted for me, I'm not going to let you down. I can't promise you, you will always agree with me but I promise you I will do what I think is best for all of us."

During his 17 minute speech to supporters, Graham said he's in the senate to get problems solved and South Carolina republicans see that.

"The Republican Party has a lot to offer, we just have to lay it out," Graham said. "I want to put the country ahead of the party… Problem solving is not inconsistent with being a good conservative. Ronald Regan told us that and the people of South Carolina validated that."

Graham faces Democratic State Sen. Brad Hutto, as well as Libertarian Victor Kocher, in the November general election.

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