Democrat to announce Senate bid Wednesday against Lindsey Graham

Democrat to announce Senate bid Wednesday against Lindsey Graham
© MSNBC

Democrat Jaime Harrison, the former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, is set to announce Wednesday his Senate bid against Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham: FBI investigation in 2016 turned into a 'criminal conspiracy' This week: House impeachment inquiry hits crucial stretch Senate braces for brawl on Trump impeachment rules MORE (R-S.C.).

“The formal announcement will take place tomorrow morning. I’ll be back in South Carolina tonight, and it’s going to be tomorrow morning where I will formally announce that I am running for the United States Senate for South Carolina against Lindsey Graham,” Harrison said on MSNBC’s “The Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowCNN Pelosi town hall finishes third in cable news ratings race, draws 1.6M SNL mocks Buttigieg campaign's viral dance video as part of strategy to get 'a negative percentage of the black vote' The Hill's Morning Report - Sondland stuns; Dems pull punches in fifth debate MORE Show” on Tuesday night. 

Harrison announced in February he would form an exploratory committee as he weighed potentially launching a Senate bid in 2020.

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Harrison currently serves as associate chairman and counselor for the Democratic National Committee (DNC). He first garnered national headlines when he unsuccessfully ran for DNC chair in 2017.

He will face an uphill battle to defeat Graham in the ruby red Palmetto State. South Carolina has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1998. It voted for President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate US sending 20,000 troops to Europe for largest exercises since Cold War Barr criticizes FBI, says it's possible agents acted in 'bad faith' in Trump probe MORE by 14 points in 2016 and Graham by more than 15 points in 2014. Graham also entered 2019 with $3.2 million in his Senate campaign account. 

However, South Carolina Democrats saw a glimpse of hope last year when Democrat Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamDemocrat says he expects to oppose articles of impeachment against Trump Conservative group unveils million ad campaign against Trump impeachment Club for Growth extends advertising against House Dems over impeachment MORE upset Republican nominee Katie Arrington in the state’s 1st Congressional District.

Graham, who was first elected to the Senate in 2002, remains popular in South Carolina and has emerged as one of Trump’s staunchest allies on Capitol Hill, flexing his muscles as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to help advance several of the president's judicial nominees.

“Instead of having a senator who’s pushing back on these types of things, he’s waiting to find his next lunch or dinner date with the president. That’s not helping the people of South Carolina. I want to represent the people of South Carolina,” Harrison told The Hill in February.

Graham said in February after Harrison said he would launch his exploratory committee that he was confident in his chances for reelection regardless of his opponent. 

“The question for voters ... is, am I the best choice of the choices available,” Graham told McClatchy. “I think I’d make a good case, no matter who runs, that I’m the good choice. Time will tell.”