COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A potential challenger to long-term Congressman Joe Wilson is putting up some big numbers early in the race to represent South Carolina’s second district.
Former Justice Department attorney Adair Ford Boroughs more than doubled his fundraising numbers in the second quarter of 2019, a traditional indicator of momentum for a candidate. She raised $246,000 compared to Wilson’s $108,589, according to the most recent numbers posted by the Federal Election Commission.
The South Carolina representative known for yelling “you lie” during President Barack Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress has served for over 17 years, easily defeating numerous opponents in the past.
In 2018, Wilson beat his opponent by almost 14 percentage points. When President Trump was on the ballot in 2016, Wilson defeated his Democratic challenger by over 24 points. However, Wilson says he is ready to fight for his seat.
“I take every candidate and opponent seriously,” he said. “This is the people’s seat, I’m happy to do all that I should be elected.”
In addition to her time with the DOJ, Boroughs headed a nonprofit that provides legal help for people who couldn't afford their own lawyers, according to her campaign website. She said part of the reason she decided to run is because as an attorney she would send people to Wilson's office to receive constituent services. She claims they weren't always adequately helped. When momentum for her to run built up, she says she decided to get in the race.
"I've seen the numbers, I've talked to voters. This district is very winnable," she said.
When asked how she will flip an incumbent Republican in a red state, she points in part to the same fundraising numbers.
“They are going to say I can’t do it again next quarter and I’ll do it the next quarter....and they’ll keep saying what I can’t do until I win this election,” she emphasized.
Boroughs’ chance to go head-to-head against Wilson isn’t guaranteed. She has to defeat former Bernie Sanders organizer Lawrence Nathaniel, who says he just started fundraising days ago and has three campaign offices open.
Against either of these challengers, Wilson may also stand to gain from frequently voting in line with President Trump. According to Five Thirty-Eight, Wilson votes in line with the President 97.8% of the time. A record that will serve to his advantage as a recent Post and Courier-Change Research poll shows 95% of South Carolina Republicans say they plan to vote for the President.
At his event at the Irmo Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Wilson remained in lockstep with the President when asked about closing the so-called Charleston Loophole. "We don’t need new laws
we need to enforce the laws we already have," he told WIS.
He also took the same stance as the South Carolina Republican Party on Former Governor Mark Sanford’s potential run against Trump. He said, “Mr. Trump was not my first choice [in 2016], but he is my first choice now.”
As for his own race, Wilson says he is looking forward to it, “I enjoy campaigning, so I’m looking forward to a spirited campaign.”