COLUMBIA, S.C. — An unemployed military veteran who raised no funds and put up no campaign website shocked South Carolina’s Democratic Party leadership by capturing the nomination Tuesday to face Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint in November.
With nearly all precincts reporting, Alvin Greene, 32, commanded 59 percent of the vote against 41 percent for former four-term state lawmaker Vic Rawl, 64, who had raised about $186,000 and had to abruptly scrap a late-week fundraiser for the fall.
State Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler said voters unfamiliar with either candidate may have voted alphabetically for Greene over Rawl.
“As far as I know, he never showed up at anything. Vic Rawl has been campaigning everywhere from the time he filed,” she said.
Rawl said he was disappointed.
“I would’ve liked very much to be a candidate against Jim DeMint,” Rawl said, describing his sole primary rival as something of a mystery. “I never saw him. I’ve still never met him.”
As for Greene, he couldn’t explain it either but thanked voters in a state numb with high unemployment and said: “Let’s continue to make history and get South Carolina back to work.”
Greene said he spent a total of 13 years in the Air Force and Army before leaving the Army in August.
DeMint, a conservative Republican and tea party darling pursuing a second term, has marshaled a $3.5 million war chest already to face the bare-pockets Democratic underdog.