South Carolina

Joe Wilson’s Democratic challenger outraises him, but not by much

Adair Boroughs, one Democrat hoping to oust U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson in the 2nd congressional district, raised more money than the Republican incumbent in the latest fundraising quarter.

But not by much. Boroughs, of Forest Acres, raised a little more than $250,000 from July through September — slightly more than the $245,000 she raised from April through June, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Meanwhile, Wilson, R-Springdale, raised more than $200,000 in the same quarter, bringing his total raised for his reelection bid to nearly $435,000 through September. Wilson finished the quarter with more than $306,000 left to spend.

Boroughs, a former U.S. Department of Justice attorney, finished the quarter with more than $291,000, according to her campaign filing report.

In an effort to set herself apart from Wilson, Boroughs has pledged to not take any money from corporate political action committees. Of Wilson’s $435,000 raised, more than half of that — almost $239,000 — came from PACs.

“This seat doesn’t belong to the lobbyists of corporate PACs. It belongs to the people of the 2nd District,” Boroughs said in a statement in July. “I want to thank everyone who is generously giving what they can to this campaign, be it their time volunteering, or one dollar.”

Wilson’s campaign did not return a request for comment in time for publication Wednesday. Campaign finance reports were due midnight Tuesday.

Despite showing she can compete in the race for cash, Boroughs’ chance of winning remains a long shot in the traditionally red Midlands district, which includes Aiken, Barnwell and Lexington counties. The district went for Republican President Donald Trump in 2016 by more than 18 percentage points.

Wilson has represented the district since 2001. In 2009, he famously shouted “You lie!” at President Barack Obama as he discussed his vision for health care during a joint address to Congress, endearing him to Republicans in the district. In 2018 when Democrats won the House, Wilson’s challenger Steve Carrigan lost to Wilson by 13.8 points.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report, which analyzes elections and campaigns, ranks the district solidly Republican.

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Maayan Schechter (My-yahn Schek-ter) covers the S.C. State House and politics for The State. She grew up in Atlanta, Ga. and graduated from the University of North Carolina-Asheville. She has previously worked at the Aiken Standard and the Greenville News.