Rick Wade Weighs Historic South Carolina Senate Run

If the former member of the Obama administration decides to run against GOP South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, it would create a historic race between two African-American candidates from different sides of the aisle.

Posted:
 
rick20wade_tim20scott_split_83012_575lh
Rick Wade (Arise America screenshot); Tim Scott (Getty Images)

Rick Wade, a former senior adviser in the Obama administration and deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Commerce Department, is considering a run against GOP South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, Warren Bolton writes in The State.

If Wade, who now heads a fledgling global-business-development firm, decides to step into the race, it would create a historic race between two African-American candidates from different sides of the aisle.

... But it also would be an uphill climb for a Democrat in a Republican-dominated state. And Sen. Scott is raising gobs of money.

That said, a Scott-Wade matchup would allow South Carolina to see a campaign unlike any it -- and few if any other states -- has ever seen: a bonafide race for U.S. Senate between two African-American candidates.

And while their skin color would make the tilt historic, it also could make race less of an issue in a state that doesn't elect black candidates statewide: If Mr. Scott doesn't face a primary challenger, and it doesn't appear he will, and Mr. Wade does decide to join the race (as of Wednesday it looks like he's leaning that way more heavily) and manages to do so without Democratic opposition, this would be a campaign worth watching, even with the decided edge GOP candidates have in South Carolina.

It would be intriguing to see two black candidates with opposite viewpoints on a laundry list of issues debating them before the people of the Palmetto State. At the end of the day, voters would be asked to choose not based on race but on these candidates' ideas and philosophies. 

GOP South Carolina Gov. Nikki R. Haley chose Scott in December to replace outgoing Sen. Jim DeMint, who resigned to run the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.

... Mr. Scott became the first black senator from the South since Reconstruction. Today, he is the nation's only African-American senator and one of only eight in America's history ...

Mr. Scott is well-liked among Republicans not just in South Carolina but across the country. In many respects, he's seen as the future of the party as it tries to diversify its ranks and formulate a message that broadens its reach among minorities.

Read more at The State.

The Root 100 People's Choice Awards  
Sept. 19 2014 8:34 AM