Harrison elevates third-party candidate in bid to pull GOP SC Senate votes from Graham

Harrison elevates third-party candidate in bid to pull GOP SC Senate votes from Graham

Republican incumbent Lindsey Graham (left) and Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison are focusing on different issues as they enter the closing weeks of South Carolina’s high-profile U.S. Senate race. File/Grace Beahm Alford/Staff File/Provided COLUMBIA — In the closing weeks of South Carolina’s competitive U.S. Senate race, Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison has escalated efforts to elevate the profile of a third-party candidate in an apparent last-minute bid to peel off conservative voters dissatisfied with Republican incumbent Lindsey Graham. First in digital ads and now in television spots that have begun hitting South Carolina airwaves, Harrison’s ads alert voters to the fact that “right-wing Constitution Party candidate” Bill Bledsoe is still on the ballot and warns them that he is “too conservative for South Carolina.” The ad’s narrator says Bledsoe “opposes all abortions, “supported Trump from day one,” and “believes any gun control law infringes on the Second Amendment” — positions that would likely appeal to a significant number of conservative voters in South Carolina. Unmentioned in Harrison’s ads: Bledsoe endorsed Graham earlier this month and encouraged his supporters to do the same, citing Graham’s support of President Donald Trump and conservative judicial nominees. Bledsoe has not submitted official documentation withdrawing from the race, according to S.C. Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire, but at this point it would be too late to remove his name from the ballot. He appears at the top of the ballot due to a rotational system between the parties each election cycle. Jessica Taylor, the Senate races […]

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