Reality TV star and former South Carolina state Treasurer Thomas Ravenel is launching an independent bid against Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks This Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead Biden move to tap oil reserves draws GOP pushback MORE (R-S.C.).
Ravenel, a one-time rising star from a famous political family in the state Republican Party, was forced from office in 2007 following a bust for cocaine possession. His most recent claim to fame: A leading role on the Bravo reality series "Southern Charm." The 51-year-old has a 3-month-old daughter with another state political scion, 22-year-old Kathryn Dennis; their relationship was chronicled on the reality TV show.
He announced his bid at a Fourth of July event in Greenville, according to The Associated Press.
The libertarian-leaning candidate will still need to gather 10,000 signatures by July 15 to get on the ballot against Graham, who crushed his Tea Party opponents in his primary and is coasting to a third term in the Senate.