Frustration among conservatives over SC Senator Lindsey Graham has continued to reach the boiling point as evidenced by the fact that Graham has received five official GOP censures from within SC over the last three months.
Graham has been facing three early primary challengers, but now faces a total of four challengers for the GOP primary next June.
Bill Connor, of Orangeburg will officially announce his candidacy to challenge Graham for the GOP nomination this evening in Myrtle Beach where he is scheduled to speak to the Myrtle Beach Tea Party for a Veteran’s Day event.
Connor is a Lt. Colonel in the Army reserve (Airborne Ranger 23 years) who volunteered for a tour in Afghanistan where he was awarded the Bronze Star and served as the US Senior Advisor in Helmand Province.
Connor spoke at one of the first tea parties in the nation on the banks of the Reedy River in Greenville in early 2009, something he says that fueled a fire in him and led him to get into statewide politics and to involvement with the tea party movement.
After returning from Afghanistan in 2010, Connor entered politics by running for Lt. Governor and made it into the GOP runoff against the establishment candidate Ken Ard. Ard later resigned in shame after taking office and receiving probation for misuse of campaign funds. Connor was the first candidate in 2010 to receive the endorsement of the afore mentioned Myrtle Beach Tea Party.
A graduate of The Citadel and the University of South Carolina (USC) School of Law, Connor also serves as Director of the Army’s Command and General Staff College (ILE) in SC and is a member of the U.S. Counterterrorism Advisory Team. Along with partner W. Thomas Smith Jr., Connor founded National Defense Consultants LLC, a partnership providing clients with military analysis ranging from geostrategy to special operations; counterterrorism; ground, naval, and air combat; military leadership and military law. He is also a practicing attorney.
Connor has been a strong critic of Graham and the Obama administration, especially on matters of foreign policy, such as warning against the US supporting the deposing of Mubarak in Egypt in 2011 which led to the Muslim Brotherhood’s takeover of the country, as well as the more recent warning Connor offered against US support of Syrian “rebels” which he warned were heavily influenced by Al Qaeda, and a potential attack on Syria not being in interests of the US.
Connor told the South Carolina Conservative Dot Com that many factors have led him to enter the race against Graham, such as Graham supporting Obama’s nomination of extreme leftist Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Connor adds that defeating Graham must be the top priority of conservatives, not just in SC, but from across the nation. Defeating Graham requires a credible challenger and Connor feels that he can be that challenger who will unseat Graham. “It’s not only going to take the support of people here in SC, but also the support of conservatives in states like California who have little chance of electing a conservative to Congress in their state, but who can send us support and help us defeat Graham,” Connor said. He added, “This is a nationwide effort, for conservatives to reclaim the GOP.”
Connor also told us that, if elected he would be a staunch ally of conservatives like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. Connor adds that for far too long constitutional conservatives like Cruz, Lee, and DeMint have been maligned by the GOP establishment and that it’s time for a changing of the guard in the GOP, especially the US Senate.
As an unapologetic conservative who is popular with the tea party and the Christian right, combined with his impressive military record and foreign policy credentials, Connor may prove to be the most formidable of Graham’s opponents. Historically Graham’s major base of support within the GOP has been the military and veterans because he serves as an Air Force JAG reservist Officer, and he is seen as some sort of foreign policy expert. Connor’s strong experience should place him in a unique position to undermine Graham’s base of support.
Graham’s other challengers are State Senator Lee bright, Businessman Richard Cash, and co-founder and former co-owner of FITSnews Nancy Mace.
Connor released the following video in a press release this afternoon.
By: Javan Browder
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