Ravenel will challenge Graham as independent

Ravenel will challenge Graham as independent

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC/AP) - Former state treasurer Thomas Ravenel, who resigned from office after his arrest on drug charges, says he is running as an independent for the U.S. Senate currently held by Lindsey Graham in South Carolina.

Ravenel announced his intention Friday at an Independence Day rally in Greenville. He still must deliver 10,000 signatures from registered voters to state election officials by July 15 to get on the ballot.

He wants to reduce the size of government and give people more personal freedom. He says the U.S. needs a better foreign policy.

Ravenel was one of the stars of the reality TV show "Southern Charm" last season, from which he earned the nickname, "T-Rav," but said earlier this year that he would not return to the show if it is renewed for a second season.

In April, Ravenel talked about becoming a first-time father at the age of 51, and said his daughter had changed his life.

Ravenel was forced to resign as state treasurer in 2007 after being indicted on a federal drug charge, but said he has felt an itch to return to politics.

Ravenel describes himself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

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