|| by Will Galloway ||
Columbia – The race to succeed Rep. Trey Gowdy has grown much more crowded this week. In three days, three republicans have announced that they will seek their party’s nomination for the seat.
Josh Kimbrell, a talk radio host and Spartanburg County GOP chairman, entered the race on Monday. Kimbrell is expected to establish himself as the candidate of hard right social conservatives, and is likely hoping that he will be the only Spartanburg candidate in the field, which could help him secure a spot in a likely runoff.
Barry Bell, a political newcomer and veteran of the US Army and Marine Corps, joined the race on Tuesday. Bell listed a unique set of positions, including ending the wars in the middle east and wanting to audit the Federal Reserve.
James Epley, Donald Trump’s Upstate Regional Field Director in the 2016 Presidential Election. He is expected to run a strong campaign and lean into his connections to Trump to succeed, but will have to compete with Pastor Mark Burns for the “Trump vote.”
Other candidates include State Rep. Dan Hamilton, State Sen. William Timmons, Jordan Brown, Stephen Brown, and J. Allen Ruff. Speculation continues to swirl around a host of other candidates, including former State Sen. Lee Bright.