The former chairman of South Carolina’s Republican Party is the latest candidate to say he’ll run for a future seat in Congress if current U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney is confirmed as President Trump’s next budget director.
Chad Connelly announced Monday he will run for the seat should it open up this spring. Mulvaney is expected to resign once the Senate confirms his appointment to the Office of Management and Budget.
Connelly served as the state Republican Party chairman from 2011 until 2013, when he took a post with the national party working on evangelical voter engagement. “I have been challenged,” he told South Carolina Radio Network. “I can’t tell you how many people have said… well, you want us to get engaged, you ought to be running for something. I literally told them it’d have God Himself to create some kind of opening or opportunity. And, so we go: look at what’s happened. Donald Trump gets elected, then our own Congressman Mick Mulvaney gets tapped.”
The Prosperity resident unsuccessfully ran for a state Senate seat in 2003 representing Newberry County but otherwise has taken a more behind-the-scenes role in the South Carolina Republican Party. If he wins, Connelly plans to introduce legislation that would limit members of Congress and the Senate to 12 years in office.
“Until we fix the idea of career politicians being so entrenched, I’m not sure we can get a whole lot done the way it has to be done,” he said, pledging to honor that 12-year pledge himself.
Connelly is the sixth Republican candidate to jump into the race. Also running are two legislators House Speaker Pro Tempore Tommy Pope, R-York; and State Rep. Ralph Norman, R-Rock Hill. Other candidates include S.C. State Guard commander Tom Mullikin; anti-Common Core activist Sheri Few; and Indian Land attorney Kris Wampler.
No Democratic candidates have yet entered the race, which is not officially underway since Mulvaney remains in his seat for now with a tough Senate fight awaiting him on the horizon.