Today (Tuesday, 14 June 2022) we have primary elections in South Carolina. I’ll be honest, I haven’t followed these races nearly as closely as I should have been, but the big one is the Republican primary for South Carolina US Congressional District 7.
The current occupant of that position, Congressman Tom Rice, infamously voted in favor of the impeachment of President Donald Trump following the 6 January 2021 protests over the fraudulent election. That single vote has haunted Tom Rice, who was first elected in 2012, then the 7th Congressional District was created, ever since.
I like Tom Rice. He’s was overwhelmingly pro-Trump, that one vote notwithstanding. He’s been pretty good on the House Ways and Means Committee. He’s brought a lot of important infrastructure projects to the district, like the inland port. He’s also a very sweet, congenial man one-on-one.
But that one vote. Perhaps it’s silly to vote against a man based on one vote, when almost all the others cut the other way. That’s certainly what Rice’s team is hoping South Carolinians in District 7 will think.
But that one vote was a betrayal so deep, most of us can’t abide it.
Naturally, there’s been a great deal of clamoring to unseat Rice, with everyone and their brother coming out of the woodworks. Our district is not deep red, but it’s grown redder since its creation in 2012. Horry County—where Myrtle Beach is located—is Rice’s territory, but it’s big time MAGA Country. Horry County went for Trump with 49.2% of the votes cast. That might sound miniscule, but remember that many of the dozen-plus initial candidates were still in the race at that point. The next closest candidate in Horry County was Marco Rubio with a paltry 17.9%. The victor of the Republican primary is pretty much guaranteed to win the seat in November.
Currently, there are seven candidates running:
- Tom Rice
- Barbara Arthur
- Garrett Barton
- Russell Fry
- Mark McBride
- Spencer Morris
- Ken Richardson
Fry is the major contender against Rice, and the two have been slinging mud at each other for weeks. Fry has the coveted Trump endorsement, but as we saw with the Dr. Oz endorsement, Trump does not always get it right.
I think Fry will be a fine replacement for Rice, but my major concern is that he’s too slick, too established. He’s been serving in the State House since 2015. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I appreciate some legislative experience. But I’ve gotten to the point where I want a real chaos agent running for office, someone who is a bit rough around the edges—like Trump.
As such, I will likely vote for Barbara Arthur this morning. She’s made the Culture War the focus of her campaign, vowing to “Fight Communism,” as her signs proclaim. I listened to one debate between the candidates and I was not impressed with her speaking style or the depth of her answers; in spite of that, she hit—like a green pugilist—all of the important spots that other candidates overlooked or brushed off with platitudes.
Readers will note it is a tepid endorsement. The risks of voting for Arthur are real: it could siphon votes away from Fry, making a run-off in two weeks far more likely; that run-off could help Rice, though I think much of the divided support will go to Fry in a run-off (their names are making me hanker for Chinese food).
But, honestly, let’s get some kooks elected—and not the usual Left-wing ones. I want someone who’s going to wave papers around, claiming they’re lists of Commies in the government (that’d be a pretty big list). I want a Marjorie Taylor Greene who will ask the tough questions about political prisoners from January 6th.
Because when the patients are running the asylum in Washington, I want someone who can out-crazy them.
(Note: I don’t actually think Barbara Arthur is crazy—just unpolished. But that’s not a bad thing in my estimation. I don’t want someone who is going to “go native” just to fit in. I want an anti-SJW pugilist to throw rhetorical punches and to gain the ire of the mainstream media—because she’s right.)