GOP Rep Considers Challenging Lindsey Graham In 2026 Senate Primary: REPORT

(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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South Carolina GOP Rep. and House Freedom Caucus member Ralph Norman is weighing a 2026 Senate bid to challenge Sen. Lindsey Graham in the Republican primary, according to Politico.

Graham has served in the upper chamber since 2003 and has repeatedly beat out primary challengers, but was booed on July 1 by his own constituents at a rally for former President Donald Trump. Conservatives now see an opportunity for another Republican to emerge in 2026 and have been discussing a potential bid with Norman, a source familiar with the matter told Politico.

“Rep. Norman is not ruling anything out but has made no decisions yet on future elections,” a spokesperson for Norman told the Daily Caller News Foundations in a statement. “He remains firmly committed to serving South Carolina’s 5th district in the House, and doing everything within his ability to restore fiscal sanity and conservative values to Congress.”

Conservatives have grown frustrated with Graham for his moderate position on key issues, most recently his devout support for Ukraine in the war with Russia, and several Trump allies argue the senator isn’t loyal, according to Politico.

The two South Carolinians have attended events together, and Norman endorsed Graham in 2019 during the most recent Senate primary, according to Politico. Graham went on to beat three Republican primary challengers in 2020, according to Greenville News.

“No one has done more than Lindsey Graham to confirm President Trump’s conservative judges and help rebuild our military. That’s why we need Lindsey Graham re-elected to the United States Senate,” Norman said in 2019, per Greenville News.

Graham also beat now Republican Rep. Nancy Mace in the 2014 Senate primary, but none of the senator’s previous GOP challengers have held the degree of name recognition that Norman has, according to Politico. (RELATED: Lindsey Graham Mercilessly Heckled During Home-State Trump Rally)

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 14: Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) speaks during a press conference on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with members of the House Freedom Caucus (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Graham has endorsed Trump for president in 2024 because he “was a good president,” but was a vocal opponent of the then-candidate’s 2016 bid, arguing “if the Republican Party nominates Donald Trump, they will destroy themselves and they will deserve it.”

Norman isn’t backing the former president for the 2024 primary, and instead threw his support behind former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley when she announced her campaign in February.

Prior to his time in the Senate, Graham served in the state legislature before winning a U.S. House seat in the late 1990s, according to Ballotpedia. Norman, who is currently running for reelection in 2024, has been in Congress since 2017 when he won the special election to replace outgoing Rep. Mick Mulvaney, and previously served in the South Carolina state House.

Graham did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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