Reality TV star files signatures to challenge Lindsey Graham

Reality TV star and former South Carolina state Treasurer Thomas Ravenel officially filed to run against Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Monday morning, topping the 10,000 signatures he needed to get on the ballot. 

If Ravenel's 17,000 signatures are verified, he'll be running as an independent against Graham, but that verification from the state election commission could take up to a month, according to The Associated Press.  

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Graham easily won his Republican primary in June over several Tea Party challengers, and despite the late challenge from the libertarian-leaning Ravanel, the incumbent is expected to sail to a third term. Ravenel said that he gathered signatures from every county in the state. 

Ravenel served as the state's Republican treasurer for only a few months in 2007 before being forced to resign after he was busted for cocaine possession. He pleaded guilty to the charges and served 10 months in prison, and also pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge this March in New York. 

Most recently, Ravenel held a starring role on Bravo's reality TV series "Southern Charm," which chronicled his relationship with 22-year-old Kathryn Dennis, a member of a powerhouse political family in the state. Dennis and 51-year-old Ravenel have a 3-month-old daughter. 

Ravenel originally announced his intentions to run at a Fourth of July event. The state's GOP condemned Ravenel's Senate bid in a statement, charging that his plans to run are an embarrassment to the state.