Comedian Stephen Colbert's sister is hoping her political career in South Carolina has a longer lifespan than her brother's failed presidential bid in the state. Elizabeth Colbert-Busch has informed the state Democratic Party that she will run for the First District seat vacated by Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and will file on Tuesday, party spokeswoman Amanda Loveday confirmed. The news was first reported by the West Ashley Patch website.
Colbert-Busch (who pronounces the T in her surname) currently works for Clemson University's Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility and is making her first foray into electoral politics. She was considered a top recruit for Democrats, according to National Review.
With less than four months to go before the May 7 special election, Colbert-Busch's name recognition and her brother's fame could help her stand out in a crowded field of candidates that includes former Gov. Mark Sanford, state Sen. Larry Grooms and state Rep. Chip Limehouse -- all Republicans who are well-known in Palmetto State politics. Sanford, who is widely expected to advance to a potential GOP primary runoff, has more than $1.2 million in old congressional and state accounts that he plans to tap into for the race.
Colbert-Busch will face at least two opponents in the March 19 Democratic primary. Businessman Martin Skelly filed for the seat Friday, and Bobbie Rose, who lost to Scott by nearly 30 points in 2012, is also running. Still, the seat is heavily Republican and any Democrat, regardless of family connection, faces an uphill climb in the general election.
The filing period for the First District contest opened at noon today and will close on Jan. 28.