South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District is not exactly the most competitive race in the country.
Republican Tim Scott has handily outraised his Democrat opponent Ben Frasier, who does not have a campaign website, and Scott is favored to win easily by the Cook Political Report and The New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight blog.
That didn’t keep Rep. Eric Cantor, House minority whip, from making the trip to coastal Charleston, S.C., for a drop-in honoring Scott at the home of a Republican donor Sunday night. The suggested donation for guests was $250 per person, and 80-100 supporters attended, according to the Scott campaign.
Cantor and Scott focused on economic issues, telling the crowd that government does not create jobs but that government should create an environment for private sector growth by extending the Bush tax cuts and eliminating bureaucracy, said Joe McKeown, Scott’s campaign manager.
The event was illustrative of the ongoing support and communication between Cantor and Scott.
Cantor, from Virginia, was one of the first national GOP figures to support Scott, albeit after the primary. He and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Republican from California, endorsed Scott ten days before his June 22 runoff against Paul Thurmond, Charleston County Commissioner and son of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond. Scott garnered 68 percent of the vote in the win.
Cantor and McCarthy, two of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Young Guns,” also contributed $5,000 each to the Scott campaign before the runoff, according to Federal Election Commission records. Cantor’s political action committee donated another $5,000 after the runoff victory.
The Charleston Post and Courier reported early in October that Scott speaks often with GOP House leadership, as much as once every two weeks, and that McCarthy is “on speed dial.”
“Tim has had multiple conversations with much of the leadership,” McKeown confirmed.
A spokesman for Cantor refused to comment on the event or Cantor’s communication with Scott.
Scott’s story – that he is poised to become the first black Republican in Congress since 2003 and the first from South Carolina since Reconstruction – has been well-documented. At 44, Scott is only slightly younger than Cantor, 47, and McCarthy, 45, and would quickly become an ally for GOP House leadership, McKeown said.
“They are both young and energetic. They’re both from the business side of things, so they come at government from the same angle. Number two, they are both truly conservatives, and number three, they have the same view on earmarks,” McKeown told TheDC.
He has raised over $960,000 and has over $237,000 on hand as of Sept. 30. Frasier, who has run for the House of Representatives over a dozen times since 1972, according to the Sun News, has raised just $12,251 and has $1,401 on hand with $9,626 in debts owed.