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A Closer Look at Elizabeth Colbert-Busch

She gives the Democrats a proverbial puncher's chance.

Known by non-locals because of her famous brother, Elizabeth Colbert-Busch has deep ties to the Lowcountry.

For some, the decision by Colbert-Busch (she pronounces the “t”) to enter the political arena came as a surprise. But, she has deep ties to the area and has been engaged in the fabric of the Lowcountry for decades.

She was born in 1954, to a family with 11 children and has stared personal tragedy in the face. When she was 19, her father and two of her brothers were killed in a plane crash.

Known to friends and family as "Lulu," Colbert-Busch graduated from the College of Charleston and married a man who ended up being convicted of securities fraud after being featured on “America’s Most Wanted.”

She eventually met and married Claus Busch.

Colbert-Busch has worked for Clemson for at least a decade, most recently as its “corporate matchmaker” according to a 2010 profile in the Post and Courier. She has the type of business experience that few can match on either side of the political aisle.

Thanks to her name and her relationships in the business community, Colbert-Busch would seem poised to have little difficulty raising money. Insiders tell Patch that the winning candidate in the race for South Carolina’s Congressional Seat in the 1st District could end up spending $1 million.

View a biography of Colbert-Busch HERE. See who’s in the race HERE.

According to Taft Matney, a longtime political consultant based in the Upstate, she will give Democrats a realistic chance at a seat that has been a Republican stronghold. "She's a credible Democrat with name ID and the ability to get money. What was going to be likely a hands-down Republican hold could be in jeopardy if voters get behind someone who can't compete at the same level. You're going to hear about GOP activists, officials, and office holders talking very seriously but very quietly about how to keep this red-leaning district solidly in the Republican column when the votes are cast."

In November, nearly 60 percent of the voters in SC1 cast votes for Mitt Romney. ***NOTE - A reader called this figure into question. See response below in the comments section.***

In terms of registered voters, the district is about 55-45 split in favor of the GOP. Those numbers are estimates, but SCGOP Executive Director Alex Stroman is very confident the seat will stay red.

"We look forward to Ms. Colbert-Busch meeting the voters and having to answer questions about where she stands on issues facing the 1st District,” Stroman told Patch. "Since she's running as a Democrat, voters would love to know where she disagrees with Tim Scott (the former holder of the seat), and if she supports the policies of President Obama. Just a few months ago, voters in the district soundly rejected Obama's policies. They'll do the same with Ms. Colbert-Busch."

Stroman raises one of the key questions about Colbert-Busch—where does she does stand on the issues?

More tantalizing are questions about the degree to which Stephen Colbert will be involved in the race. Will he form a Super PAC to help Elizabeth raise money? Will he have Elizabeth as a guest on his show? And if so, will he stay in character? Will he campaign on her behalf in the Lowcountry?

These questions will be answered in the days and weeks to come. And as they are, even more questions are sure to be raised.

Keep up with all of Patch's coverage of South Carolina politics by following us on Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE.

Jane Robelot January 20, 2013 at 04:18 AM
I hope that voters in our states First District will vote for the person, not the party. Elizabeth is one of the most intelligent, caring and impressive people I've ever met. She has only the best interests of South Carolina in her heart. Her contributions to the state through procurement of the Wind Turbine Test Facility at CURI is going to prove a phenomenal benefit to the state and the country. Please, voters in this district, look carefully at the character and intelligence of each of the candidates and then make your decision... don't let "party" be your decision maker. I know Elizabeth would never abandon her state!
Joan VS February 20, 2013 at 04:06 PM
I, too, questioned Drury's reporting. I worked the election for the President in Charleston and my research revealed that Charleston went blue in both presidential elections, so the stats presented by Drury seem skewed.
Joan VS February 20, 2013 at 04:10 PM
I think it will come down to intelligent voting. If voters really look at the candidates and the issues educating themselves to the truth and not sound bites in tv ads, then we may be able to have real change and progress in store for District 1. Ms. Colbert-Busch fits that intelligent choice, in my humble opinion.
Shawn Drury February 20, 2013 at 04:28 PM
Joan, See note above. Charleston County did indeed go for President Obama but the Congressional District did not. SD
Susan Figliola March 16, 2013 at 09:36 PM
Break a leg ECB, I hope you win..Everyday for the past 9 days our family has received a flyer from John Kuhn, all I can think is what is he hiding to send us so much mail. Why do we get republican mail if were democrats??

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