Here’s how to ruin your chances at winning a U.S. congressional seat:
Get arrested for driving under the influence and unlawfully possessing a firearm, with a female college student who is not your wife in the car.
Democratic South Carolina state Rep. Ted Vick, who describes himself as “businessman, a farmer, a pastor, a sportsman, a soldier and a state representative,” was pulled over early Thursday morning after an evening of drinking in downtown Columbia, S.C., according to a police report.
Update, May 25, 2:24 p.m.: Vick announced in a statement Friday that he has ended his congressional run.
The State newspaper reported that Vick met the University of South Carolina student at Delaney’s Pub in Five Points and continued drinking at Jake’s Bar and Grill. Vick offered her a ride home, the report said, but his car was pulled over at 1:12 a.m. for driving 44 miles per hour in a 30 miles per hour zone.
After Vick refused to take a sobriety test or a field test, he was taken to a local detention center, where officers found that the state congressman was carrying a Kel-Tec .380-caliber pistol in his front pocket. He had not told officers about the weapon, and his concealed weapons permit had expired in 2007, the police report said.
The young woman who made Vick’s acquaintance was not charged in the incident, The State reported. A graduate of The Citadel, Vick is married, has two young girls and was a lieutenant colonel in the S.C. Army National Guard.
“As a trained minister of the Gospel, Ted is a strong believer in traditional southern family values,” his website reads.
Vick was running for South Carolina’s new 7th Congressional District against attorney Preston Brittain in the Democratic primary June 12. Vick released his first television ad Tuesday.
South Carolina Democrats saw an opportunity in the Republican-drawn district when a sexual harassment case brought down a leading GOP contender, former state Rep. Thad Viers. The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake had listed the House race as one of 10 districts “that may surprise you.”
Vick is an open supporter of the U.S. capitalist system and was a conservative Southern Democrat who looked to appeal to Republican voters across the aisle.