Republican Teddy Turner, son of media mogul Ted Turner, hoped to avoid self-financing as much as possible in his bid in the special election for South Carolina's First District, but he loaned his fledgling campaign $72,000 at the end of December, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
"It's hard to create something out of nothing," Turner said in a phone interview Tuesday. "Hopefully we have just started the process of true fundraising."
Turner raised $77,000 overall in the final week of December for the March 8 primary, FEC filings show, including a maximum contribution from his sister, Laura Turner Seydel. Turner is hopeful that he will be able to raise enough money in the crowded race, but he did not rule out more self-financing, saying that he would do what it takes to be competitive.
Regardless of fundraising, expect more television ads out of Turner, who has already released two. The high school teacher said that his campaign filmed several spots all at once and would continue to release them "as the race changes."
Turner has a lot of work to do in a crowded field, both to get his name out and to combat certain associations with it; Turner's family are all well-known liberals in the South. Turner admitted that his family's history had been a "little bit of a hurdle," but he said he wasn't worried about the other candidates bringing it up on the campaign trail.
Turner, however, counts himself as a conservative in the mode of former Sen. Jim DeMint (R) and Sen. Tim Scott (R), who previously held the seat. As for other state Republicans, Turner said: "I'm not sure I need to praise them if they're going to endorse other people."
Turner also said that he favors term limits and would support caps of three-to-four terms for congressmen. "Six years in any position is plenty," he said.
Turner took the opportunity to take a veiled shot at a few of his opponents, criticizing politicians who serve "18, 20 years" in office -- like state Rep. Chip Limehouse (R) and former Gov. Mark Sanford (R), who both entered office in 1995. Asked if he was referring to any one politician in particular, Turner noted that there were "two in the race."
"People don't much like politicians, but they know their names," he said. "Until there's an alternative. We are one of the very good alternatives."