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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 GrahamPassage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Progressive support builds for expanding lower courts McConnell backs Garland for attorney general 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 MaddowLeague of Conservation Voters adds racial justice issues to 2020 congressional scorecard Newly released footage shows Schumer's 'near miss' with Capitol rioters Without Trump, late-night 'comedy' becomes even more insufferable 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 TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills 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 CunninghamLobbying world We lost in November — we're proud we didn't take corporate PAC money Chamber of Commerce slams GOP effort to challenge Biden's win 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.”