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Mulvaney challenger Fran Person touts ‘made in America’ in Fort Mill stop

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Mulvaney opponent Fran Person launches first TV ad

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With the election just over a month away, Democrat Fran Person is launching his first television ad in his bid to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney.

The 30-second spot called “Teamwork” highlights Person’s background as a University of South Carolina offensive line football player and his priorities if he’s elected.

After graduating from USC, Person went to work as an aide for Vice President Joe Biden, who has campaigned for the Tega Cay resident.

Person had raised about $400,000 through June for his bid to represent the 5th District congressional seat. Mulvaney, an Indian Land Republican first elected in 2010, had raised about $840,000 through June.

Candidates will report their fundraising totals for July through September later this month.

House race in SC flips norms on defense spending

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This year’s race in the 5th Congressional District is twisting political norms when it comes to defense spending.

Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-Indian Land, running for a fourth term, has a long record of pushing spending cuts as a way to shrink the federal debt — no surprise for a Republican. But Mulvaney veers outside traditional GOP orthodoxy in saying defense programs should be subject to that same belt-tightening.

“If we are going to balance the budget, then all spending needs to be scrutinized, including the Pentagon,” Mulvaney wrote recently in a Facebook message to constituents.

It’s a controversial position for a Republican to take in a conservative, Southern state with several military bases, thousands of active and retired military personnel and a general affinity for a strong national defense.

The Democrat running for the 5th District seat, Fran Person of Tega Cay, has criticized Mulvaney’s position and opposes defense cuts, giving his party a rare opportunity to claim the pro-military mantel.

“Congressman Mulvaney on some issues is in a very vulnerable spot,” Person said in a recent interview. “He supported the sequester cuts, which I wholeheartedly disagree with because they gutted the military when it was needed the most.”

The sequester, approved as part of the 2011 Budget Control Act, refers to automatic across-the-board spending cuts that took effect after Congress failed to reach a less drastic deficit-reduction plan. The goal was to trim $1.2 trillion over 10 years, split evenly between defense and non-defense programs.

Congress has eased some sequester-related spending caps in recent years, so the cuts haven’t been as deep or catastrophic as had been predicted.

Mulvaney has criticized the cuts as indiscriminate because they affected important Pentagon programs and unnecessary ones alike. But he said they were still better than no cuts at all, in the face of more than $19 trillion in federal debt.

“The debt represents the greatest existential threat that this nation faces,” Mulvaney wrote in his recent Facebook post. “More than ISIS or Russia or China, more than domestic or international terrorism, more than economic slowdowns (and certainly more than global warming!). All spending needs to be on the table if we are going to face that challenge.”

Mulvaney also has a record of forcing votes on the House floor that would scale back military spending. Taxpayer watchdog groups have lauded his efforts, while some in his own party have criticized them.

In 2013, more Democrats than Republicans voted for Mulvaney’s amendment to reduce the Overseas Contingency Operation fund at the Pentagon by $3.5 billion. He argued that the fund, created to finance combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, was unnecessarily increased by $5 billion for non-war spending.

That same year, he proposed cutting $20.4 billion in federal spending, including from the military, to pay for Hurricane Sandy disaster aid, but the amendment failed.

“Republicans lose a lot of credibility when we aren’t willing to look at every penny that we spend,” Mulvaney wrote on Facebook. “It makes it look like we only oppose big government when it spends money on programs that we don’t like, but that we support it when that money is going to programs we support (or to things in our own districts). That opens us up to claims of hypocrisy. And that is the most effective kind of criticism: the kind that is right.”

Person, a Pennsylvania native who played football at the University of South Carolina, was hired by Vice President Joe Biden, then a U.S. senator from Delaware, in 2006 as a driver and personal assistant. Person stayed with the vice president’s staff as an adviser until 2014, when he returned to South Carolina. Biden is helping to raise money for Person’s campaign.

Person said protecting the military budget is a national security imperative.

“Giving the men and women in uniform all of the resources they need to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow is the most important thing we could do right now,” Person said Friday.

He opposes Pentagon budget cuts out of concern for the local economy and the people who work on or near Shaw Air Force Base. The Air Force already has scaled back the number of fighter pilots and training hours, for example.

“It hits home right here in our district,” Person said.

Instead of spending cuts, Person advocates economic growth and tax reform as a recipe for tackling the federal debt.

“For certain people and companies, we should cut out some loopholes and make them pay their fair share,” Person said. “And not do it on the backs of our men and women in uniform.”

Will ties to Biden help or hurt his former aide’s run for Congress?

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Will ties to Biden help or hurt his former aide’s run for Congress?

Posted in The McClatchy D.C.

By: Vera Bergengruen

Person said that while he understood that frustration he heard from voters in his district, he would apply the main lesson of eight years serving as a personal aide to Biden: “simply getting things done.”

“It really isn’t a Democrat or Republican thing to want leaders go up there and get things done again, move things forward,” he said in an interview.

Person, 33, worked with the vice president for eight years before returning to South Carolina in 2014 to work at his alma mater, the University of South Carolina. A former offensive guard for the Gamecocks, he served in an advisory role on student-athlete initiatives for USC President Harris Pastides and athletics director Ray Tanner.

When Person announced his bid for the 5th Congressional District seat, Mulvaney quickly tied him to the political establishment that voters in this election have vented against.

“His resume screams Washington insider,” Mulvaney said in a Facebook post in March. “I suppose it would be possible to come up with a candidate or a set of principles that is more out of touch with South Carolina, but you’d have to work to do so.”

Person said Mulvaney was missing a key point that set the two opponents apart.

“I’m not a politician, though,” Person said. “I played football at the University of South Carolina. When I do stuff I’m looking more through an athlete’s mind that is separate from all that.

“I don’t care if you’re a Democrat or Republican or your race or religion, it doesn’t have anything to do with it. When people say they are frustrated with Washington, they’re frustrated with government that doesn’t work.”

Person out-raised Mulvaney in his first month after announcing, bringing in $175,000, according to Federal Election Commission filings. While the district wasn’t considered competitive this cycle, the strong showing led to it being labeled one of the country’s “Red to Blue Emerging Races” by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

By the end of June, Person had raised $403,443. He received contributions from the political action committee of South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, the third ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, as well as former South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges, former South Carolina Democratic Chairman Dick Harpootlian and current Chair Jaime Harrison.

$403,443Total raised by Fran Person by the end of June

$778,101Total raised by Rep. Mick Mulvaney by the end of June

However, by the end of the second quarter Mulvaney still had almost double the cash on hand going into the final months of the campaign.

While Biden’s fundraising help has certainly been a boost, Person said the real impact went beyond raising money.

“The one thing, if you’re going to measure how the vice president has helped my campaign, is that he’s like another father to me, looking at all he’s taught me and I got to learn at the feet of him,” he said, adding that Biden’s son Beau, who passed away last year from cancer, had been “like a brother” to him.

Most importantly, Person’s eight years with the vice president were an education in how to find common ground to get things done, he said.

“Working for a guy like Vice President Biden was working with a guy who built a career out of building relationships. . . . You can disagree, but working together, moving forward, that’s what people are yearning for,” he said.

Voters in his district have not seen that in Mulvaney’s leadership, Person’s campaign argues.

When Mulvaney won the seat in the 2010 tea party wave, he became the first Republican to represent the district in more than a century. It had been represented by Democratic Rep. John Spratt for nearly three decades. After the 2010 census led to redistricting, the region became more solidly Republican.

Mulvaney is one of the most conservative legislators in Congress and a founding member of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus. He was out of town and unavailable for an interview for this story.


“This is bigger than winning a seat back for Democrats; I really mean it,” Person said. “Mulvaney is a Freedom Caucus guy. He represents an ideology, a group that is responsible for the paralysis of bipartisanship in the House of Representatives – I saw it firsthand.”

Farmers in his district still dealing with last year’s catastrophic floods or workers who depend on budget-strapped Shaw Air Force Base are sick of seeing politicians on television just talking about scoring political points, Person said.

“Democrats and Republicans, people are tired of both of them,” he said. “They’re saying, ‘Hey, I just want somebody who’s going to fight for me.’ ”

Person landed the job with Biden after approaching the vice president at a USC reception his senior year. The month after he graduated – and just days after playing in the Independence Bowl – Person started as a driver and staff assistant. From Biden’s Senate office to months of campaigning to the White House, Person became a close aide and confidant to Biden and his family.

With the vice president, he traveled to 47 states and 49 of the 50 countries Biden visited as vice president, skipping only a trip to Cyprus when his second daughter was born.

Although no appearances have been scheduled yet, Person said he hoped to campaign with Biden sometime in the coming months.

“I would love it if the vice president could come down here. It would mean a lot to me personally to go around my district with him and talk to folks,” he said. “It would be an honor.”



Person Raises More in One Month than Mulvaney Raises in Full Quarter

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Fort Mill, S.C. –  Fran Person only needed one month to outraise incumbent Republican Mick Mulvaney in a full fundraising quarter.

“The Congressman’s lackluster fundraising efforts are pretty consistent with his inability to get things done for our district. It’s actually pretty simple – he’s an ineffective Congressman in a do-nothing Congress,” said Fran Person. “I’ll bring effective leadership by building bridges and consensus to get things done for the people in our district – whether it’s bringing home jobs, protecting support for Shaw Air Force Base and our veterans, or providing access to a decent education. We’re going to compete again, and win.”

Mulvaney’s first quarter deficit is more significant considering Mulvaney raised nearly half of his Q1 funds from PACs. Of Mulvaney’s $164,127 Q1 haul, a total of 63,437 came from PACs compared to $5,000 of Person’s Q1 intake.


We’re All In This Together

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Thanks to you our campaign announced today we have raised over $175,000 within the first month of launching.  The level of support we have received in just 32 days is encouraging and proves that Congressman Mick Mulvaney will face the toughest fight of his political career in November.

The people in South Carolina want a real voice in Congress, a leader who will help communities get the tools they need to get ahead by investing in people, education and roads and bridges. South Carolinians also want a leader who will stand up for our men and women in uniform against reckless sequestration cuts supported by Mulvaney and oppose bad trade deals that cost American jobs.

We only accepted one PAC check from Congressman Jim Clyburn’s BRIDGE PAC. In contrast, Congressman Mulvaney’s past reports show that over 70% of his campaign funds derived from PAC’s and not individual donors.

Among the many supporters, we received contributions of all sizes from many former teammates and Carolina greats from Ryan Brewer and Andre Goodman to longtime Carolina Panther Travelle Wharton, who also serves as Co-Chair of our campaign. Nobody can vouch for my character better than the guys I played alongside. Through blood, sweat and tears, you really get to know each other and create unbreakable bonds. It’s family. We’re all in this together.

As I’ve said from day one – I cannot do this without your continued support.  Please consider contributing $5, $10 or $25 TODAY to keep our momentum going. You may donate online by clicking on the donate button below.

Thank you again, I absolutely cannot do this without you!  Do not hesitate to reach out to me directly at 803-220-1008.




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Joe Biden: Fran Has What It Takes

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I’ve known Fran Person since he was a student at the University of South Carolina. Fran and I have worked together for years; he’s traveled the country and the world with me. He’s smart, he’s tireless and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t respect him.

If you want to know Fran, just look at his family: a big, military family committed to helping our country.

He is comfortable with heads of states as well as folks we’ve met on the street. He treats everyone with dignity – and the one thing that always comes through about Fran is his sincerity.

So it doesn’t surprise me that he wants to continue to serve his country. Fran knows what it takes to compete and win.

He’ll be a leader, a team player and a congressman that all in his district will be able to work with and trust. He knows how to get things done.

Fran and his team need your active support to help get the campaign off the ground. Please consider contributing $10, $25 or $50 TODAY as they launch their efforts.

If you have questions please visit his website directly.

Joe Biden

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Tega Cay Democrat, former Gamecock announces Congress run

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(The Herald)

TEGA CAY – Fran PersonA Tega Cay Democrat, ex-Gamecock and former aide to Vice President Joe Biden has announced plans to run for Congress.

Francis Person announced his intent to challenge Indian Land Republican Mick Mulvaney for the Fifth Congressional District seat in a YouTube video on Monday.

Person says he wants to focus on education, rebuilding America’s infrastructure and ending budget cuts known as “sequestration.”

Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/news/local/article63115527.html

Former Joe Biden aide running for Congress in SC

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Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/the-buzz/article63101062.html#storylink=cpy

Biden’s personal aide leaving

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(From Politico) Vice President Joe Biden’s personal aide for the past eight years – starting in the Senate office, then campaigning across all 99 counties in Iowa, and finally landing in the White House – will leave the administration Friday to move back home to start Monday as a high-level adviser at his alma mater, the University of South Carolina, in Columbia.

As a body guy who became a confidant, Fran Person anticipated Biden’s moods and questions, served as team captain and gatekeeper on the road, and showed the ropes to visitors and new staffers. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said: “Fran’s strongest quality and greatest diplomatic skill was in gently persuading the Vice President it was time to end the meeting!”