Ralph Norman is back to try and win the seat he once sought eight years ago.
Norman, 63, is one of 15 candidates — seven Republicans — vying to replace former Rep. Mick Mulvaney in the U.S. House of Representatives for the 5th district.
Mulvany was selected to run the federal budget office for President Donald Trump.
Norman, a real estate developer and politician, said back in December 2016 that he intended on running for the seat if it were to be left vacant.
“I’m going to do it, I have already started,” he said then. He had a failed bid for the seat back in 2009, but appears to have far more support this time around.
The primary for the special election is May 2. If no candidate in the GOP field is unable to reach the 50 percent threshold, then a runoff will be performed March 16.
The general election will be held June 20.
Here’s what you need to know about Norman:
1. Norman’s Platform Revolves Around ‘Bringing a Business Approach to Government’
Norman’s website lists a platform he would pursue if her were to get elected.
Those pillars include “introducing term limits for Congressmen, passing a balanced budget amendment, repealing Obamacare and reforming social security while strengthening Medicare.”
With a business background spanning back to the early 1970s, Norman said that he wants to use that approach — similar to Trump — to accomplish what he hopes to.
Norman is also a supporter of building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico border. He said on his website that “America is an exceptional nation, we need to act like that.” He said that the wall will help America “protect our sovereignty”
2. Norman Has Led All Candidates In Fundraising for the Race
Among the crowded GOP field for the special election, Norman had the most money to use on ads and campaign funding.
On April 21, Norman’s campaign reported the most contributions of the other 14 candidates. The cutoff date for filing with the Federal Election Commission was April 12.
Norman had raised $285,360 for the almost two months of campaigning leading up to the primary. He started his campaign by taking out a personal loan of $305,000 and his total receipts came in at $590,360, The Charlotte Observer wrote.
Norman said in a statement after the report that his campaign has helped show the kind of candidate voters in the district are looking to elect.
Our message of a balanced budget amendment, term limits to end career politicians and a real plan to keep America safe is resonating with voters. These fundraising numbers clearly show that voters want a businessman to represent them in Washington, not another trial lawyer.
His communications director Robert May explained that Norman had taken the hefty bank loan for the race only because he didn’t want to “ask his supporters to do something that he wouldn’t do.
3. Norman Served on South Carolina’s House of Representatives
Norman had always been a real estate developer with an interest in business. But he started a political career in 2004.
He was elected to represent District 48 in South Carolina’s House of Representatives after he beat two other Republicans in a primary outright with 52 percent support.
He spent just two years in the role before he chose not to run for reelection, instead running for U.S. Congress in the 5th district. His bid to win the seat was unsuccessful, though, as he lost to Democrat John Spratt, the incumbent, by a large margin.
Spratt garnered 56.9 percent of support to Norman’s 43.06.
After the failed attempt to win the seat, Norman found his way out of politics for a few years before finally reclaiming the 5th district seat he once held in South Carolina’s House.
4. Norman Worked as a Real Estate Developer For His Dad’s Company
There, Norman received his bachelor’s degree in business and graduated in 1975 from the college.
Right after he graduated from college, Norman found a role at his father’s residential and commercial development company, Warren Norman Co., Inc. The company was started in 1948 by his father, Warren. He was described as a “land lover.”
Soon after Ralph joined the business, his brothers joined him at the real estate development company.
Ralph’s current title at the company is “broker in charge” and he now boasts over 40 years of experience. His biography on the company website says that he “provides leadership in all aspects of commercial and residential real estate development.”
5. Norman & His Wife Have 15 Grandchildren
Ralph met his wife Elaine back in the late 1970s, and the couple have now been married for 42 years. Elaine’s family resides in Lancaster, South Carolina.
The couple have built up quite the large family over the years. They have four children: one son (Warren III) and three daughters (Caroline, Anne and Mary Catherine). They’re also grandparents to 15 grandchildren.
The family are members of the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Rock Hill.