Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 23, 2014

South Carolina: State Senator ‘Leaning Toward’ Graham Primary Challenge

South Carolina: State Senator Leaning Toward Graham Primary Challenge

Conservatives expect Graham will face a primary challenge in 2014, but it remains to be seen how competitive the race will be. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

South Carolina Republican state Sen. Lee Bright is “leaning toward” taking on Sen. Lindsey Graham in a primary.

“It’s something I’m considering. I haven’t made a final decision,” Bright told CQ Roll Call in a short telephone interview Monday afternoon, noting he expected to make a choice within the next 60 days. “There’s a fight for the heart and soul of the Republican Party, and I think Lindsey’s on the opposite side [from me].”

Asked on what issues they disagreed, Bright listed a comprehensive immigration overhaul, “man-made global warming” and the debt ceiling. Bright also griped that Graham “always wants to seem to rush to compromise” with Democrats.

Messages left with a Graham spokesman were not returned. The senator remains the strong favorite in any potential primary fight.

Last week, Republican state Sen. Tom Davis said he wouldn’t challenge Graham. He confirmed to CQ Roll Call on Monday that he’s not interested in a Senate bid this cycle but said he expected Graham would face a primary opponent.

“I just think there’s too much of a disconnect between what the grass roots are feeling is wrong with Washington, D.C.,” and what Graham’s positions are, he said.

The news of Bright’s likely Senate bid was first reported by the South Carolina political website FITSNews.com.

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