South Carolina Democrat Explores Senate Challenge
Jaime Harrison, the former Chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party and first African American to hold the position, formally announced an exploratory committee Friday to potentially challenge Republican Senator Lindsey Graham for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Should he unseat Graham, South Carolina would have two African American Senators -- albeit from different parties. Harrison would join Republican Tim Scott, the GOP’s sole African American in the upper chamber. Harrison’s chances depend largely on how much money he can raise in a state where no Democrat has won a statewide race since 2006. He said he believes a successful candidate may need $10 million to win next year's race. Graham, who chairs the influential Senate Judiciary Committee, has more than $3 million in cash on hand. “South Carolina is a hard nut to crack for a Democrat, and nobody knows that better than me,” Harrison said. “But my passion has been how we make this state and all of the South competitive again for both parties.” Harrison is the author of the recent book Climbing the Hill, along with Republican staffer Amos Snead. In 2017, the South Carolina native ran unsuccessfully for national Chair of the DNC. He eventually ended his campaign and endorsed current Chair Tom Pérez, accepting a position as Associate Chairman and Counselor of the DNC. The 43-year-old Yale graduate, who earned his law degree from Georgetown, became involved in politics working for Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-SC) as his Floor Director of Operations while Clyburn was the Majority Whip. He also previously worked as a Lobbyist for the Podesta Group. Watch his campaign launch video here.