South Carolina Democrat posts $1.5M in challenge to Graham

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A top Democratic National Committee official raised $1.5 million in the most recent fundraising period in his challenge to U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Campaign officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Jaime Harrison raised the money in the second quarter, which ended Sunday. Most of the amount, $1.3 million, came in the 33 days since Harrison officially launched his bid, with an average contribution of $26, according to the campaign.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is backing Harrison , an associate DNC chairman, in his effort to unseat Graham in 2020. Flipping a Senate seat from red to blue in South Carolina would be difficult and likely would require millions of dollars in fundraising, an area in which national-level groups like the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee would be crucial.

Harrison, 43, has said that he thinks it could take $10 million to win the race next year. Economist Gloria Bromell Tinubu also has announced her candidacy in the Democratic primary for Graham’s seat, but the Federal Election Commission did not have fundraising information available for her as of Tuesday morning.


Graham’s campaign said Tuesday that his second-quarter numbers hadn’t been finalized. In the first quarter of 2019, the Republican raised more than $2 million, setting a personal quarterly record. Graham, 63, ended that period with $4.6 million on hand, a figure his campaign called “one of the largest campaign war chests among Republican incumbents in the country.”

Last month, Graham’s campaign announced he had been endorsed by all eight of South Carolina’s statewide-elected officers, including Gov. Henry McMaster and Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette, in his quest for a fourth term. The support marked a show of Republican force for Graham, who in the past has faced challengers from the right who said he’s not conservative enough to represent deeply red South Carolina and he’s too willing to work with congressional Democrats.


Meg Kinnard can be reached at

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