Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Steve Israel pledged full support to Elizabeth Colbert Busch's special election campaign in South Carolina at a private fundraiser in Washington on Monday evening.
"I am here to tell you that we are in this race. ... In three weeks and two days she will come to Washington and take her oath of office," Israel told supporters to applause, adding the he and Colbert Busch sat down and discussed the race in his office earlier in the day.
Of course, the headliner of the event was Colbert Busch's brother, late-night comedian Stephen Colbert, who made a rare appearance out of character to tout the candidacy of his older sister, "Lulu." But it was not without at least one shot at her opponent, former Republican Gov. Mark Sanford.
Colbert said that though he loves his home state, "there are things about South Carolina that fill me with despair -- one of them is that they managed to nominate Mark Sanford."
Though the event was private, Hotline On Call was admitted without being asked for identification.
In her remarks, Colbert Busch focused largely on bringing jobs to the district and using its resources to make coastal South Carolina a leader in economic development. She was also upbeat about her campaign, noting that she's seen positive signs in the district for her candidacy, despite its heavily Republican tilt.
"You know it's positive because the Republicans are getting a little anxious," she said to applause. "What this race is about is the people. What this race is about, our opponent, Mark Sanford seems to have a feeling that the sky is falling and this is the end of our society as we know it ... actually, the best years are ahead of us."
Colbert Busch also mentioned Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., one of the events 40 co-hosts and the only Democratic member of Congress from the Palmetto State -- "which we're going to change," she added.
Several members of Congress attended the event at B. Smith's Restaurant in Union Station, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who hugged Colbert Busch as she entered, and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who is co-hosting another fundraiser for Colbert Busch in Atlanta next week.
The special election in South Carolina's First District is on May 7.
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