Fourth District Congressman Bob Inglis has made some real political enemies in the Republican Party, sparking four opponents so far, including political heavyweights State Senator Dave Thomas and Solicitor Trey Gowdy.
As if that is not enough, the decision by Third District Congressman Gresham Barrett to run for Governor instead of re-election has spurred nearly every elected Republican with a heartbeat to consider running for the seat. A slew of candidates have already started running. Rumors, according to The State have everyone from the aged State Senator Billy O'Dell of Ware Shoals to Solicitor Strom Thurmond, Jr. in Aiken considering a run for the seat. It is doubtful either O'Dell or Thurmond will make the race, but with things so wide open, it is understandable how the media and the people would look for someone to be a clear front runner.
The truth is that there is no clear front runner in the Republican Party in the Third or Fourth Congressional District. The Second Congressional District could soon join the list. Congressman Henry Brown could face a challenge from the late Carroll Campbell's son, Tumpy, who apparently has realized that Governor might be too big of a job to first run for.
The Congressional races in South Carolina shaping up for 2010 show that the South Carolina Republican Party has such dominance that it is becoming like the South Carolina Democratic Party of years ago, in that those wishing to aspire for office choose to fight in the Republican Primary, knowing it is the deciding election.
The dominance of the South Carolina Republican Party is likely why Republicans are wondering "who is not running for Congress in 2010?"