A former University of South Carolina football player and staffer for Vice President Joe Biden announced Monday that he will run for Congress.
Fran Person will run as a Democratic challenger to three-term US Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-SC, this November. He is the first Democrat to declare his intentions for the Fifth Congressional District’s general election this November.
“Our Congressman Mick Mulvaney went to Congress in 2010 to fix a broken Congress,” Person said in a YouTube video announcing his run. “But the truth is: Congress has just gotten more broken since he’s been there.”
The Fifth District was the closest of all South Carolina’s congressional races in 2014, with Mulvaney beating Fort Mill Councilman Tom Adams by 18 percentage points. Mulvaney became the first Republican to hold the seat since 1883 when he defeated longtime US Rep. John Spratt in 2010. He has since built a reputation as one of the House’s most conservative members, criticizing spending deficits and often voting against his own party’s budget.
Person played football as a center at the University of South Carolina during the early 2000s before working as an assistant for then-US Sen. Joe Biden after graduating in 2005. He stayed with Biden throughout his unsuccessful 2008 presidential run to eventual victory as Vice President. He eventually left this Biden office in 2014 to take an administrative job at the University of South Carolina. A 2014 Politico article on Person notes he is well-connected with South Carolina’s Democratic leadership.
Mulvaney at this point is a heavy favorite to win reelection, but he is seen as perhaps the most vulnerable to a Democratic challenge due the district’s demographics. His campaign also has about $231,000 cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission filings. That total is second-lowest among South Carolina’s congressional delegation.