GOP hopefuls question Graham's voting record during debate - FOX Carolina 21

GOP hopefuls question Graham's voting record during debate

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Incumbent Lindsey Graham (C) will debate against six other GOP candidates hoping to win his US Senate seat (FOX Carolina) Incumbent Lindsey Graham (C) will debate against six other GOP candidates hoping to win his US Senate seat (FOX Carolina)
COLUMBIA, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The Republican candidates challenging Lindsey Graham raised questions about the U.S. senator's voting record during a debate Saturday night in Columbia.

"You had a lot of great ideas," Senate hopeful Bill Connor, an attorney from Orangeburg, told Graham.  "But after things like voting for Justice (Sonia) Sotomayor, voting for Justice (Elena) Kagan, the TARP bailouts, after a number of these things, it's come time senator, quite frankly, for somebody else to come in."

Charleston businesswoman and senate hopeful Nancy Mace echoed that message. "Career politicians are the problem, they're not the solution," Mace said.  "I have spent months over the course of this campaign listening to the people of South Carolina, and I firmly believe they are ready for someone new."

Graham, a two-term incumbent, defended his record and listed some of the political fights he has led in the Palmetto State.

"Ladies and gentleman, I think I'm the best qualified to represent our state, and I say that humbly," Graham said. "I know how to deepen the port of Charleston, if we don't get that right, we're in trouble because one in ten jobs are at risk. When my state needed me to fight the unions, I was there, in an effective way, against the NLRB's effort to shut down Boeing."

Graham sparred with Connor, Mace, Columbia minister Det Bowers, state senator Lee Bright of Spartanburg, Easley businessman Richard Cash, and Columbia attorney Benjamin Dunn.

While each candidate had different positions, each promised to take and uphold a conservative fight to Capitol Hill, to fight big government, and to stay true to their religious and South Carolina-bred values.

"I believe the American heritage is built upon principals of Christianity, capitalism, and the constitution," Cash said.

"(South Carolinians) would like to have someone to go to Washington fight for South Carolina principles, fight for South Carolina beliefs, and not run so hard to work with the other side, to work with the democrats," Bright said.

"My special interest is those of the founding fathers and those who come after us," Bowers said.  "The next generation is critical and our hope lies in all that we give to them.

"I would like to go to Washington to decrease spending across the board, to divest power from the federal government back to the states where it belongs," Dunn said.

The seven candidates are vying for votes in the S.C. Republican Primary on Tuesday, the same day as the S.C. Democratic Primary, in which state senator Brad Hutto and business man Jay Stomper vie for the democratic nomination. Registered voters can vote in either primary. If a race goes to a runoff, to be held June 24 if necessary, voters can only vote in the party's runoff election in which they cast a primary vote.

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