Organization  |  SOUTH CAROLINA PRIMARY page  

Campaign Organization for the 2016 South Carolina Primary

(page revised February 21, 2016)

The list below shows the state leadership for each of the major campaigns that competing in the Feb. 20, 2016 South Carolina Republican primary and the Feb. 27 South Carolina Democratic primary.  Click on the links in the chart for more campaign staff and organization, offices and endorsements.  If you see anyone missing please email
:   National   |   IA   |   NH   |   SC   |   NV.

Cruz / sPAC Fiorina / sPAC Gilmore Graham Huckabee Kasich / sPAC Paul
Perry Rubio / sPAC Santorum Trump Walker Clinton O'Malley Sanders
Biden sPAC


Former Gov. Jeb Bush - Jeb 2016, Inc.

Headquarters: 1102 Huger St., Columbia, SC  29202   ...Jeb Bush Jr. attended office opening on Aug. 26, 2015

Senior Advisor  Jim Dyke

(reported by The State's Andrew Shain on April 29, 2015)  Founded Jim Dyke & Associates in 2005, now JDA Frontline.  Communications advisor to Haley Barboour in 2011.  Senior communications advisor to the Rudy Giuliani Presidential campaign.  A communications advisor to President George W. Bush and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's VOLPAC in the first half of 2006.  Communications director at the RNC during the 2004 cycle after starting there as press secretary.  Press secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce under Don Evans.  Worked at Quinn Gillespie & Associates building coalitions and developing communications strategies for clients.  A one-time assistant to the brewmeister at Capital City Brewing Company, Dyke became a lobbyist for the Beer Institute.  He started his career in Washington, DC as a Senate parking lot attendant.  Graduate of the University of Arkansas with a degree in history.  Resident of Charleston, SC.

Senior Advisor  Brett Doster

(reported by The State's Andrew Shain on April 29, 2015)  Founder and president of Front Line Strategies;.  In 2012 Doster was a Florida senior advisor to the Mitt Romney for President campaign, and an advisor to the Connie Mack for U.S. Senate campaign.  Opened up and headed the Florida office of Revolution Agency, a media and communications firm, 2007.  Campaign manager for the Tom Gallagher for Governor campaign from 2005-06.  Executive director of the Bush-Cheney 2004 re-election campaign in Florida.  Associate at Uhlfelder & Associates, P.A. in Tallahassee, starting Feb. 2003.  Executive eirector for the Coalition to Protect Florida in 2002.  Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development, focusing particularly on developing new high technology business in the state, 2001-03.  Florida political director for the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign, and in the fall statewide political director for Florida Victory 2000.  Special assistant to Jeb Bush in his first gubernatorial campaign in 1993 and on his 1997 campaitgn and worked on his 2001 campaign.  Graduated from The Citadel.  Fifth generation native of Florida.  Also president of Doster Broker Group, a commercial real estate firm from 2008.

South Carolina Executive Director  Taylor Hall

Interim state director and press secretary for StudentsFirst South Carolina from Dec. 2014.  Founder of H Strategies LLC, Sept. 2012.  Campaign manager on Pat McKinney for Lt. Governor, July 2013-June 2014.  Deputy campaign manager, Victory 2010 director, personnel director, cabinet and legislative liaison and political director to Gov. Nikki Haley during the 2010 campaign and in the administration. Senior advisor on Brent Nelsen for Superintendent of Education, March 2009-Jan. 2010.  B.A. in political science from Furman University, 2009.  twitter

Dr. Ben Carson - Carson America

Headquarters: 3795 East North St., Suite 14, Greenville, SC  29615   ...July 2015

State Director  Ruth Sherlock

(reported by Time's Tessa Berenson on Feb. 12, 2015)  Partner at Sherlock and Gaines Consulting Group of Greenville and principal at Sherlock & Associates.  Deputy South Carolina director on Newt 2012 from Nov. 2011, then national deputy political director.  Campaign manager/chief of staff at Joseph Cao for Congress and for Congressman Cao, 2008.  Marketing director at BE&K Government Group, 2006-07.  Vice president of marketing at Mpower Systems Public Policy Group, 2003.  Regional finance director/national field finance director at the RNC, 2000-02.  Partner and COO at The Palladian Group, 2001.  Community relations for Greenville Hospital System, 1998-99.  Finance director for the SC House Republican Caucus, 1998-99.  Campaign manager on Clyborne for Congress, 1997-98.  Finance director on Robin Hayes for Governor, 1996.  Incumbent field representative for the NRCC, 1995-96.  Contract labor for Sen. Paul Coverdell, 1993-94.  Special assistant at the U.S. Department of Energy, 1989-93.  BBA in marketing from Texas A&M University, 1983.

Sen. Ted Cruz - Cruz for President

Headquarters: 506 Gervais St., Columbia, SC  29201   ...grand opening on Nov. 10, 2015

State Director  LaDonna Ryggs

(reported by the the Washington Examiner's David Drucker on March 17, 2015)  Based in Greer, Ryggs has worked as a communications consultant (Just Saying Communications) since Aug. 2014.  Managing editor of Palladian View, a digital outreach movement for Republican women, Sept. 2011-March 2014.  Chair of the Spartanburg County GOP, 2009-13.  Administrative assistant to the directors of publishing and marketing at Bob Jones University, June 1999-Sept. 2011.  B.S. in speech education (1986) and M.A. in platform arts (2003) from Bob Jones University.  Ryggs also served as president of the South Carolina Federation of Republican Women from Jan. 2006-Dec. 2007.


Keep the Promise PAC [pro-Cruz super PAC]

Director  Dan Tripp

(reported by Bloomberg Politics' Steven Yaccino on Nov. 23, 2015) Recently served as SC director for Scott Walker, inc. (reported by The State's Andy Shain on May 7, 2015 to Sept. 21, 2015)  Founder (March 2011) and president of Ground Game Strategies, Inc., based in Mauldin, SC.  National field director at Friends of Herman Cain, Dec. 2010-March 2011; Trip also worked on Sen. John McCain's 2000 campaign and Sen. Phil Gramm's 1996 campaign.  National political director at Americans for Limited Government in Fairfax, Virginia, June 2006-Dec. 2010.  State Representative in the South Carolina General Assembly, 1994-2006.  President and owner of Carolina Mortgage Solutions, 2004-06.  Founder and operation of Tripp Insurance Agency, 1995-2004.  M.B.A. from Winthrop University, 2002.  M.S. in public relations from Suffolk University, 1993.  twitter

Carly Fiorina - Carly for America [pro-Fiorina super PAC]  ...suspended campaign Feb. 10, 2016

Headquarters: 28 Global Drive, Suite 107, Greenville, SC  ...opened May 26, 2015

Political Director  Taylor Mason

3rd vice chair of the SC GOP and Southern vice chair of the CRNC.  From Charleston.  twitter

Regional Field Director  Kaaren Mann

(announced May 26, 2015)

Former Gov. Jim Gilmore - Gilmore for America LLC  ...suspended campaign Feb. 12, 2016
Kristin N. Power

(ea. Sept. 2015)  Co-owner of K Squared Marketing, a public relations and marketing agency in Mount Pleasant, SC.  Power has nearly 15 years of experience in marketing, public relations, fundraising, brand development, community relations and special events.  Development director for Windwood Farm & Family Services, 2010 -14.  Prior to living in Charleston, Power was an account executive with GolinHarris, an international marketing and public relations agency in Atlanta.  B.S. degree from Georgia Southern University.  Resident of Daniel Island, SC.

Sen. Lindsey Graham - Lindsey Graham 2016  ...suspended campaign Dec. 21, 2015

Headquarters: 1410 Colonial Life Blvd. #140, Columbia, SC  29210

President  David Wilkins

Partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP.  Chaired Nikki Haley's governnment transition team in 2010.  Served as U.S. Ambassador to Canada from June 29, 2005 to Jan. 20, 2009.  Served in the South Carolina House of Representatives for 25 years, first elected in 1980 through June 11, 2005, 11 years as speaker of the House; practiced law for 34 years in Greenville.  South Carolina state chairman of the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign and co-chair of the South Carolina Bush for President campaign in 2000.  Undergraduate degree from Clemson University and his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law.  Native of Greenville.

Scott Farmer

Longtime Graham advisor.  Owner of Farmer Strategies, LLC since Jan. 2009 and founder and partner of Lovell Investments LLC from Nov. 2008.  Campaign manager at Team Graham, Inc., Sen. Graham's re-elect, from Jan. 2013.  Campaign manager on Lindsey Graham for Senate, Jan. 2007-Dec. 2008.  Finance director on Lindsey Graham's campaign, Jan. 2001-Dec. 2006.  Finance director at the South Carolina Republican Party, 1998-2000.  Campaign coordinator on Mike Fair for Congress, 1997-98.  Polling division of the Dole-Kemp '96 campaign. twitter

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee - Huckabee for President, Inc.  ...suspended campaign Feb. 1, 2016

State Director  Hope Walker

(announced May 4, 2015)  State director of the South Carolina Republican Party from Jan. 2015.  RNC South Carolina state director, Sept. 2013-Dec. 2014.  Political director (Jan.-Sept. 2013), member services director (Feb. 2012-Jan. 2013), finance assistant (May 2011-Jan. 2012) and intern (Dec. 2008-May 2009) for the South Carolina Republican Party.  Assistant in the office of Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, Aug. 2010-Jan. 2011. Political fundraiser/event coordinator for Black Label Strategy, 2009-10.  B.A. in political science from Newberry College, 2011 and served as student body president, 2010-11.  From Irmo, SC.

Gov. John Kasich - Kasich for America

State Director  State Rep. Heather Crawford

(announced/started Aug. 17, 2015)  Elected in on July 24, 2012, from Socastee, representing District 68 (Horry County).  (1,2) Political director in the Office of Rep. Alan Clemmons, 2008-11. A regional field director on Romney for President in 2007-08.  B.S. from Francis Marion University, 2005, and degree from Horry Georgetown Technical College.  Grew up along the Grand Strand in Horry County.  Vice president of Crawford Properties and is a realtor.


New Day for America [pro-Kasich super PAC]

Headquarters: 1316 Pulaski St., Columbia  29201 >

Political Director  Chris Slick

Director of political programs for The Felkel Group from 2014.  Oversaw political operations at the South Carolina House Republican Caucus in 2012.  Director of online operations at ACT! for America.  South Carolina staffer on Mitt Romney's campaign, 2006-08.  Greenville native.  twitter

Sen. Rand Paul - Rand Paul for President, Inc.  ...suspended campaign Feb. 3, 2016

State Director  Chasen Bullock

(April 2015)  Campaign manager on Doug Ose for Congress (Sacramento, CA), Dec. 2013-Nov. 2014.  Campaign manager on David Yancey for Delegate (Newport News, VA), Sept.-Nov. 2013.  Staff assistant in the U.S. House, Dec. 2012-Aug. 2013.  Campaign manager on Sam Graves for Congress (Kansas City, MO), Aug.-Nov. 2012.  Associate at Axiom Strategies in Kansas City, MO, April-Nov. 2012.  Campaign manager on Bill Stouffer for Missouri Secretary of State, April-Aug. 2012.  Campaign manager on Bette Grande for Congress (ND), Jan.-April 2012.  Deputy campaign manger on Joe Walsh for Congress (IL), Oct. 2011-Jan. 2012.  District representative in the California State Assembly, Jan.-July 2011.  Coalitions coordinator on Meg Whitman for Governor (CA), July 2009-Nov. 2010.  Also worked on a coupl of city council races. B.A. in economics from Cal State University San Marcos.  twitter

Senior Advisor  Chris LaCivita

(first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Jan. 12, 2015 as "expected to help lead Mr. Paul's ground game in the state, plus national communications strategy)  President of Advancing Strategies.  Sent by the NRSC to Kansas in Sept. 2014 to help Sen. Pat Roberts' U.S. Senate re-election campaign.  Chief political strategist on Ken Cuccinelli's 2013 campaign for governor of Virginia.  Senior consultant on Linda McMahon's 2012 campaign for U.S. Senate in Connecticut.  Political director at the NRSC from May 2010.  General strategist on State Sen. Robert Hurt's successful campaign for the Republican nomination in Virginia's 5th CD, June 8, 2010 primary. General strategist on Sen. Ken Cuccinelli's campaign for Virginia attorney general, 2009.  Consultant to SC Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer in 2009.  Co-founder of the American Issues Project, a 501(c)(4) active in 2008.  General consultant to Sen. George Allen's unsuccessful 2006 re-election campaign.  Senior advisor to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2004.  Executive director of Progress for America, a 501(c)(4), from late 2003.  National political director and director of issue advocacy at the NRSC during the 2002 midterm elections (under Chairman Bill Frist).  Campaign manager on George Allen's successful 2000 campaign for U.S. Senate.  Executive director of the Virginia Republican Party, 1996-June 1999. Worked for Gov. George Allen's Campaign for Honest Change PAC; Assistant Secretary of Administration for Gov. George Allen; worked on George Allen's 1993 gubernatorial campaign; legislative assistant to then Rep. George Allen; worked on George Allen's 1991 congressional campaign in Virginia.  Corporal in the Marine Corps; served in the Persian Gulf War.  Graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, 1989.  twitter

Gov. Rick Perry - Perry for President, Inc.  ...suspended campaign Sept. 11, 2015

Headquarters: Idlewilde Blvd., Columbia, SC  ...from early Sept. 2015.  note: office not closed as was incorrectly reported; moved from initial location: 1315 Calhoun St., Columbia, SC   ...June to early Sept. 2015.

(announced June 8, 2015)
State Chair  Katon Dawson

Principal at Dawson Public Affairs in Columbia.  Dawson was South Carolina chairman of the Rick Perry campaign in 2011-12, after starting out as Newt Gingrich's top advisor in South Carolina.  He was candidate for RNC chairman in Feb. 2009, finishing second to Michael Steele.  Elected Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party in spring 2002 and unanimously re-elected in 2004 and 2007, he served to May 2009.  President and general manager of family-owned Burns Auto Parts in Columbia.  Active in Republican Party politics for more than 40 years. "On Halloween night 1964, Dawson was just 8 years old when his mother drove him to the downtown auditorium in Columbia, South Carolina, to hear Ronald Reagan stump for Republican presidential nominee Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona."  B.S. in management from the University of South Carolina, 1979.

Senior Advisor  Walter Whetsell

Founder (in 1996) of Starboard Communications based in Lexington, SC.  Whetsell was South Carolina senior advisor for the Rick Perry campaign in 2011-12.  He has advised Gov. Nikki Haley, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, and SC Reps. Tom Rice, Mick Mulvaney and Jeff Duncan, and implemented and developed voter contact programs for numerous state-wide races.  Advisor/in-state consultant on Friends of Fred Thompson in 2007-08.  Coordinated the voter contact direct mail program for Gov. Mark Sanford's successful re-election campaign in 2006.  In 2004, Whetsell played an important role in helping Rep. Jim DeMint in both his successful primary and general election bid for the U.S. Senate.  Graduate of Furman University in Greenville, SC.

Political Director/Managing Day to Day  Le Frye

At Starboard Communications.  Served as Perry's South Carolina political director in 2011-12.  twitter

Sen. Marco Rubio - Marco Rubio for President

Headquarters: 790 Huger St., Columbia, SC    ...Rubio at grand opening on Nov. 11, 2015

State Director  Katie Baham Gainey

(reported by The State on April 25, 2015)  Vice president and director of campaigns and elections at First Tuesday Strategies, April 2012-March 2015.  Political director for the South Carolina House Republican Caucus, Sept. 2010-March 2012.  Campaign manager on Ken Ard for Lt. Governor, Aug. 2009-June 2010.  Political director for the South Carolina Republican Party, Aug. 2008-July 2009.  A regional field director on Romney for President, Dec. 2006-Feb. 2008.  B.A. in political science from Univesity of South Carolina-Columbia, 2005.  twitter

also note
National Campaign Manager  Terry Sullivan

(March 2012)  Previously deputy chief of staff in Rubio's Senate office, March 2011-Dec. 2012.  Managing partner at First Tuesday Strategies, based in Columbia, SC, from Nov. 2006-Feb. 2011.  Joined U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's campaign for governor as campaign manager in July 2009.  South Carolina primary campaign manager for the first Romney for President campaign, from Jan. 2007.  Partner at TTS Strategies, the consulting firm run by J. Warren Tompkins.  Campaign manager for U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX) in 2005.  Campaign manager on DeMint for Senate, May 2003-Dec. 2004.  Youth coordinator for Sen. Jesse Helms' 1996 campaign.  Graduate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  Also various accounts note work at the direct mail firm On The Mark and at Under the Power Lines and for Steve Forbes.  twitter

Sen. Marco Rubio - Conservative Solutions PAC [pro-Rubio super PAC]
Director  Warren Tompkins

(first reported by the New York Times on March 19, 2015)  Principal at First Tuesday Strategies.  Alantic region chair for the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign.  Advisor to U.S. Rep. Jim DeMint in his successful 2004 bid for U.S. Senate.  General consultant to Lindsey Graham in his successful 2002 bid fpr U.S. Senate.  Chief strategist for George W. Bush’s 2000 South Carolina presidential primary campaign.  Started a political consulting practice, in 1991; this became Tompkins, Kinard & Associates,  Strategist for the 1988 Bush presidential campaign.  Tompkins helped elect U.S. Rep. Carroll Campbell governor in 1986 and served as Campbell's chief of staff, supervising a staff of more than 230 people and budgets totaling more than $91 million.  Executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party starting in 1981. Executive director of both South Carolina Reagan-Bush campaigns (1980 and 1984), the first at age 28.  Statewide coordinator of special events and volunteer on Sen. Strom Thurmond's 1978 campaign.  First campaign was a 1974 magistrate’s race.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum - Santorum for President  ...suspended campaign Feb. 3, 2016

State Director  Jon Parker

(announced March 19, 2015; CNN's Alexandra Jaffe reported on Jan. 29, 2015 that Parker "confirmed to CNN he plans to head up the South Carolina operation for Patriot Voices")  Consultant at Richard Quinn and Associates; in 2014, Parker directed the SC election efforts of U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, Attorney General Alan Wilson, Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman, and Treasurer Curtis Loftis.  Directed Santorum's campaign in the March 6, 2012 primary in Tennessee.  Managing partner at Innovative Campaign Strategies from Jan. 2011.  twitter

Donald Trump - Donald J. Trump for President

Headquarters: 133-B State St., Columbia, SC

Co-Chair  Ed McMullen

(reported as co-chair by The State's Andrew Shain on March 10, 2015; reported as advisor by the Washington Post's Robert Costa on Feb. 25, 2015)  President of McMullen Public Affairs LLC, based in Columbia.  25 year career in public policy, politics, and business.  President of the South Carolina Policy Council, a conservative think tank through 2007.  Experience also includes chairman of the S.C. Research Centers of Economic Excellence Review Board.  Bachelor's degree in political science from Hampden-Sydney College.

Co-Chair  John Russell

(reported as co-chair by The State's Andrew Shain on March 10, 2015)  Former state legislator; served in the SC House representing Spartanburg from 1983-87, then in the SC Senate until retiring in 2000.  Assistant to the President Pro Tem of the U.S. Senate, Sen. Strom Thurmond in 1981; staff counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in 1981.  J.D. from St. Mary's of Texas Law School, 1978; B.A. in history from the University of South Carolina, 1973.  Son of former Gov. Donald S. Russell.

State Director  State Rep. James H. Merrill

(reported Feb. 25, 2015)  Member of the House, elected in 2000; represents District 99-Berkeley and Charleston Counties;served as House Majority Leader from 2004-Dec. 2008.  Owner of Geechie Communications since 1994. District administrator for U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, 1994.  Political director for the South Carolina Republican Party, 1992-98.  Press secretary to U.S. Rep. Floyd Spence, 1989-92.  B.A. (1989) and M.P.A. (1992) from University of South Carolina.  Resident of Daniel Island.  Originally from Florida.

Gov. Scott Walker - Scott Walker Inc.  ...suspended campaign Sept. 21, 2015
Director  Dan Tripp

(reported by The State's Andy Shain on May 7, 2015)  Founder (March 2011) and president of Ground Game Strategies, Inc., based in Mauldin, SC.  National field director at Friends of Herman Cain, Dec. 2010-March 2011; Trip also worked on Sen. John McCain's 2000 campaign and Sen. Phil Gramm's 1996 campaign.  National political director at Americans for Limited Government in Fairfax, Virginia, June 2006-Dec. 2010.  State Representative in the South Carolina General Assembly, 1994-2006.  President and owner of Carolina Mortgage Solutions, 2004-06.  Founder and operation of Tripp Insurance Agency, 1995-2004.  M.B.A. from Winthrop University, 2002.  M.S. in public relations from Suffolk University, 1993.  twitter


Hillary Clinton - Hillary for America

Headquarters: 1529 Richland St., Columbia, SC May 20, 2015; open house June 2 (+)

State Director  Clay Middleton

(reported March 18, 2015 by the Washington Post)  Special advisor in the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Congressional, Intergovernmental and External Affairs from Aug. 2014.  Congressional affairs liaison at the National Nuclear Security Administration Office of External Affairs, June 2013-Aug. 2014.  Special advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, Aug. 2012-June 2013.  Associate director for faith-based and neighborhood partnerships at the Corporation for National and Community Service, May 2011-Aug. 2012.  Lowcountry director for U.S. Rep. James E. Clyburn, May 2003-May 2011.  South Carolina political director on Obama for America, Aug.-Dec. 2008.  Regional field organizer for the South Carolina Democratic Party, July 2005-Dec. 2006.  Master's (2011) and B.A. in political science (2003) from The Citadel.  Major in the SC Army National Guard, Jan. 2000-present. twitter

Former Gov. Martin O'Malley - O'Malley for President  ...suspended campaign Feb. 1, 2016

State Director  Tyler Jones

(reported by The State on Dec. 4, 2015)  Associate director of the South Carolina House Democratic Caucus from Jan. 2009, serving as senior advisor and spokesman for House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford.  Associate at McIntosh Consulting, LLC from Aug. 2008.  Director of marketing at Qutera, Inc. Sept. 2011-March 2012.  Political director on Linda Ketner for Congress, Feb.-Aug. 2008.  Lowcountry field director on John Edwards for President, Jan. 2007-Feb. 2008.  B.A. in political science from Charleston Southern University, 2007.  twitter

Sen. Bernie Sanders - Bernie 2016

Headquarters: 821 Orleans Rd., Suite 104, Charleston, SC 29407 

State Director  Christopher Covert

Has worked on over a dozen races in South Carolina as either manager or field director, including field director on Elizabeth Colbert Busch's campaign for Congress in the May 2013 special elecion in the 1st CD.  Also worked on other races on the East Coast and served as field strategist for UNITE HERE in New Haven, CT.  twitter

to Oct. 21, 2015...

Draft Biden 2016  [Independent super PAC] 

(announced Sept. 2, 2015)

State Sen. Gerald Malloy (Darlington)
former State Superintendent of Education Inez Tenenbaum

State Director  Isaiah Nelson

Campaign manager on Alvin Brown for Mayor, defeated in re-election bid in Jacksonville, FL, Feb.-June 2015.  Coordinated campaign director for the South Carolina Democratic Party, Aug.-Dec. 2014; field director for the South Carolina Democratic Party, Feb. 2013-July 2014.  Regional field director in Harrisonburg, VA on Obama for America, May-Nov. 2012.  B.A. in political science and government from College of Charleston, 2012.