In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Joe Dugan, the executive producer of next month’s South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention, said that the gathering of more than 600 Tea Party activists will play a critical role in efforts to defeat incumbent Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in June’s Republican primary.
Dugan told Breitbart that he has invited Senator Graham and his four Tea Party challengers to address the convention. So far, all four challengers have accepted the invitation, but Senator Graham has not responded.
The event, co-sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots, FreedomWorks, and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, will be held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, from January 18 to 20. Numerous national speakers, including Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon and retired Major General Paul Vallely will be featured.
Dugan told Breitbart that though the Tea Party has not yet coalesced around one of the four challengers, the state’s election law gives them an advantage. It specifies the top two recipients of votes must meet in a runoff election if no candidate in the primary receives 50 percent or more of all votes cast. Dugan also stated that there will be no effort at the convention to pick one of the four challengers as the Tea Party standard-bearer prior to the June primary.
“My personal position,” Dugan said, ”is that because South Carolina is a runoff state, the best opportunity is for each of these candidates — Lee Bright, Bill Connor, Nancy Mace, and Richard Cash — to get as many supporters as they can [in the primary]. They have all said they will endorse and support the person who makes the runoff.”
Dugan has a plan to help the surviving Tea Party challenger win the runoff election against Graham. “This year I am asking Tea Party supporters from around the country, we would like your help when it comes to defeating Lindsey Graham. We would like you to come to South Carolina in the two weeks between the primary and the runoff. You can knock on doors here,” he stated.