Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s win in a Republican runoff Tuesday night set up a marquee matchup with Elizabeth Busch Colbert, the Democratic nominee in South Carolina’s 1st District special election.
For now, Colbert Busch is best known as the sister of the Comedy Central star, Stephen Colbert. But she actually has a plausible chance of winning — a recent Public Policy Polling survey found that she holds a slim, 47-45 lead over Sanford.
This is Colbert Busch’s first attempted foray into political office. Here are a few things you need to know about what has led her up to this point:
Unlike her brother, Stephen, who has built his fame while referring to himself with a soft “T.”
2. For the past five years, she has held a high-profile position at Clemson University.
She has been the Director of Business Development at Clemson University’s Restoration Institute. According to her official biography, she has played a “key role in bringing about the world’s largest wind turbine/grid simulator facility.”
3. She was an intern for former South Carolina Democratic Sen. Fritz Hollings
One summer in the mid-1970s, Colbert Busch worked as an intern in Fritz’s office, said James Smith, her director of communications. Hollings served 38 years as a Senator from South Carolina, making him the eighth-longest serving Senator in U.S. history.
4. Her father and two of her brothers died in a plane crash in 1974.
Colbert Busch is the eighth of 11 children. On Sept. 11, 1974, her father, James, and two of her brothers were killed in a plane crash in Charlotte, N.C., according to her official biography. Afterward, she moved back to Charleston to be with her family.
5. She was in New York City during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks
Smith didn’t elaborate, but said Colbert Busch was in New York in the heart of the Financial District (Maiden Lane) during the attacks.
6. She is the first female chair of the Maritime Association of South Carolina.
The association has been in existence since 1926, promoting the port of Charleston and its business and political interest. Colbert Busch has also been the chairwoman of the South Carolina International Trade Conference and her local chamber of commerce.
7. She was named one of the Journal of Commerce’s Top 20 Women in Transportation.
According to her official biography, she earned the prestigious honour from the weekly magazine that was first published in 1827.
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