Elizabeth Colbert Busch was upbeat when she conceded the race for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, saying “We gave it a heck of a fight.”
“My only pledge was to the people of this district and the people have spoken,” she told a few hundred supporters in a hotel lobby in downtown Charleston.
In three months the Clemson University business development executive became a household name, thanks in part to the comedic celebrity of her brother Stephen Colbert. The bad news: she was up against Mark Sanford, a veteran campaigner in a district skewed toward Republicans. The good news: she was up against Mark Sanford, who was also running against his past.
“It was ours to lose,” said a Lowcountry activist who preferred not to be quoted by name. “It is demoralizing. It’s sad to see people vote for a guy who has betrayed us so many times.”
New South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison framed it another way: “We should be very, very proud,” said Harrison. “This is not over; I don’t want you walking out of here thinking this is wake or a funeral. This is a process; we have to build this party. We will continue grow this party and ultimately we will be back on another election day in 2014 and we will win.”
AUDIO: Colbert Busch thanks followers in short speech (3:47)