Elizabeth Colbert-Busch

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Elizabeth Colbert-Busch
Elizabeth colbert busch.jpg
Candidate for
U.S. House, South Carolina, District 1
Bachelor'sCollege of Charleston
ProfessionSales and Marketing Professional
Campaign website
Elizabeth Colbert-Busch is a 2013 Democratic candidate seeking election to the U.S. House representing the 1st Congressional District of South Carolina.[1][2]

Colbert-Busch defeated Ben Frasier in the Democratic special primary election on March 19, 2013.[3]


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Cobert-Busch comes from a large family and is the sister of The Colbert Report host, Stephen Colbert. She serves as the director of sales and marketing at Clemson University. Prior to this, she held a similar position at Orient Overseas Container Line.[1][4][5]


  • Bachelor's degree, College of Charleson[4]



See also: South Carolina's 1st congressional district special election, 2013

Colbert-Busch is running for the U.S. House representing the 1st Congressional District of South Carolina. The election is being held to replace Tim Scott, who was appointed to fill Jim DeMint's vacant seat in the U.S. Senate.[6] Colbert-Busch ran in the Democratic primary and defeated Ben Frasier on March 19, 2013.[3][2] Martin Skelly originally filed to run but withdrew in early February.[7] The general election takes place on May 7, 2013.[8]

Former Governor Mark Sanford is seen as the front runner due to name recognition and the fact that he has $120,000 in an old campaign account. This coupled with his ability to fundraise quickly gives him a leg up on the field. This is also his former seat in the U.S. House of Representatives that he held for three terms, prior to being elected governor.[9]

The district leans Republican.[10] The last Democratic candidate elected was Mendel Jackson Davis in 1978.[11]


After Martin Skelly withdrew from the race, he threw his support behind Colbert-Busch, saying "she inspires both the party faithful and the political center that we need to generate consensus and end gridlock in Congress."[12]

The AFL-CIO endorsed her on February 14, 2013, stating "“Elizabeth’s business experience with the maritime industry and Clemson University helps her understand that when labor and management work together everyone wins." Charleston Mayor Joe Riley endorsed her the same day, describing her as a “tireless worker, a self-made woman in a field where there were few women."[13]

U.S. Representative James Clyburn endorsed her on February 19, 2013, citing "something unique about Elizabeth’s experiences…She has life experiences to take us to success in the general election."[14]


Democrat Elizabeth Colbert-Busch's 2nd television ad, "Elizabeth Colbert Busch Knows Jobs"

Republican Mark Sanford's 3rd television ad, "Difference"

In early March 2013, Mark Sanford released his third television ad in his campaign for the House seat.[15] In all, Sanford's campaign spent approximately $170,000 on three TV ads prior to the primary election, according to spokesman Joel Sawyer.[15] In the new ad, Sanford called himself "financially the most conservative governor in America and the "first governor to turn down stimulus money," an effort that failed when South Carolina's Supreme Court ruled the state must accept the $700 million.[15]

On March 15, Colbert-Busch released her second television ad.[16] The ad focused on her connection to the state and experience creating jobs.[16] She previously launched her first ad on the same day as Sanford's release of his third television ad.[15]

Campaign donors


Colbert-Busch raised almost as much as likely Republican nominee Mark Sanford at $309,559 and has $208,630 on hand.[17]

She has not received any money directly from her brother, but she has received $2,600 from Evelyn McGee and $2,500 from Evelyn Colbert. Stephen Colbert’s wife is Evelyn McGee Colbert. Trevor Potter, the Republican Washington lawyer hired to help Stephen Colbert start a super PAC, also contributed $500 to Colbert-Busch's campaign.[17] Colbert-Busch also reportedly received a $5,000 donation from the leadership PAC of Rep. Jim Clyburn (D), who also hosted a D.C. fundraiser for her in early March.[15]

Recent news

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Politico "No joke: Stephen Colbert’s sister plans House bid," January 18, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 South Carolina Radio Network "List of 19 candidates running for District 1 seat," January 28, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 SC Votes "March 19 Special Primary Election" Accessed March 19, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 West Ashley Patch "A Closer Look at Elizabeth Colbert-Busch," January 18, 2013
  5. MSNBC "Elizabeth Colbert Busch Wedged in Crowded Special Election Race" Accessed March 17, 2013
  6. Washington Post "Scott's departure for Senate will trigger third special House election in 2013," December 17, 2012
  7. Roll Call "South Carolina Skelly exits Special Election" Accessed March 11, 2013
  8. South Carolina Republican Party Website "1st Congressional Special Election details set," accessed January 3, 2013
  9. Roll Call "Sanford Likely Front-Runner in S.C. Special Election," January 3, 2013
  10. Salon.com "Ted Turner’s son vying in SC congressional primary," January 23, 2013
  11. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress "Davis, Medel Jackson, (1942-2007)," accessed January 28, 2013
  12. Roll Call "South Carolina: Skelly Exits Special Election; Colbert’s Sister Now Top Democratic Contender," February 11, 2013
  13. "", North Charleston Patch, February 13, 2013
  14. Congressman James Clyburn Endorses Elizabeth Colbert Busch, The Charleston Chronicle, February 19, 2013
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Sunlight Foudnation "Mark Sanford Drops 3rd ad in Special Election" Accessed March 17, 2013
  16. 16.0 16.1 National Journal "Colbert Busch Releases Second TV Ad" Accessed March 17, 2013
  17. 17.0 17.1 Washington Post "Koch brother donates to Mark Sanford" Accessed March 11, 2013