Youngest Thurmond takes aim at Congressional seat

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Former Sen. Strom Thurmond's youngest son, the 34-year-old Paul Thurmond, has made it official. Thurmond announced Wednesday he would run for the U.S. House from South Carolina.

Thurmond, a lawyer who currently serves as vice chair of the Charleston County Council, established an exploratory committee early last week and said the outpouring of support then -- in the form of more than $50,000 in campaign contributions -- helped him step into the Congressional race.

"My candidacy isn't about me -- it's about us," said Thurmond in a statement.

"These are supporters who are simply tired with the arrogance in Washington, and want a representative who's willing to stand up and say, 'Enough.' We've reached a point where Congress is simply ignoring the will of the people, and that's not acceptable. It's time to return power to the people, and the states -- where it Constitutionally belongs."

Thurmond said last year that he wouldn't challenge the Republican incumbent, Rep. Henry Brown, but he began considering a run after Brown announced earlier in the month that he would not make a run for re-election.

Many expected Brown's 2008 near-miss challenger Linda Ketner to make another bid for the seat, but so far she has said she will not seek the 1st District seat.

On the Republican side, the field will likely be crowded with challengers. Carroll Campbell III, the son of a popular former governor, has already announced his run. A Campbell-Thurmond race would pit the sons of two of South Carolina's political dynasties against each other.

Strom Thurmond was one of the longest-serving senators in U.S. history, retiring in 2003 at the age of 100.

©2010 WCSC. All rights reserved.