Rep. Andy Patrick, R-Hilton Head Island, is joining the increasingly crowded race for the 1st District Congressional seat.
“I have really enjoyed serving the citizens of Hilton Head Island over the last two years and learned a lot about things that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise,” Patrick said Wednesday. “I enjoy developing policy and working towards making things better for people. I’ve demonstrated some success in that area over the last few years.”
Patrick, elected to the state House of Representatives in 2010 and re-elected without opposition in November, has already hired a national consulting firm to run his campaign. RightOn Strategies recently was launched by Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign manager and New Hampshire political veteran, Mike Biundo.
So far, other announced Republican candidates are Teddy Turner, son of media mogul Ted Turner; Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Berkeley; and former state Sen. John Kuhn, R-Charleston. Those still mulling a run include former Gov. Mark Sanford; Sen. Chip Limehouse, R-Charleston; Rep. Peter McCoy, R-Charleston; and Rep. Jim Merrill, R-Berkeley.
Two Democrats capable of raising the $600,000 or more needed for a campaign are seriously considering a run, said Dick Harpootlian, chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party. However, Blaine Lotz of Hilton Head Island is not among them. The chairman of the Beaufort County Democratic Party announced earlier this week he won’t seek the office.
This is the U.S. House seat vacated by Representative Tim Scott, now serving in the Senate.