Consultant Wars in SC

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Jan 16, 2008 10:35 AM
South Carolina is famous for colorful consultants who play hardball politics.  This year, these consultants are on full display in the GOP Primary.

Generally speaking, in South Carolina, there are two rival consultants who are the head of the two "families" -- which are each represented by one South Carolina U.S. Senator, as well as one Presidential candidate .... 

Warren Tompkins consults for Romney and Sen. DeMint (who endorsed Romney).  He ran George W. Bush's effort in the state, in '00.

Richard Quinn consults for McCain and Sen. Lindsay Grahm (who endorsed McCain).

Most pols in South Carolina fall into one of these two camps.  Each consultant also has high-level elected officials such as state representatives as clients.  These clients have tended to endorse the presidential candidate that is a member of their "family."

Of course, there are more than two candidates running for president.  As such, other Republican presidential candidates have had to go outside this structure for support.  Fred Thompson, for example, has selected rising-star Congressman Gresham Barrett as his chairman, while Mike Huckabee has the support of former SC Governor David Beasley (who lost a Senate primary race to DeMint in '04) ...