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  Republicans weigh testing Graham
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ContributorThe Sunset Provision 
Last EditedThe Sunset Provision  Jul 16, 2007 11:57am
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MediaNewspaper - Charlotte Observer
News DateMonday, July 16, 2007 05:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionS.C. Republicans upset with U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham's support of an immigration bill are readying to challenge one of their own next year.

At least two political newcomers plan to run against the state's senior senator when he seeks a second term in 2008. Also, state Rep. Jeff Duncan and former U.S. Rep. Tommy Hartnett said Friday that they are considering entering the race.

"I'm keeping the track shoes unlaced so I can slip my feet into them quick if I need to," said Hartnett, 65. "I would hate to see him get a free ride."

The newcomers cited Graham's support of President Bush's proposal to legalize the status of millions of immigrants as one of the top reasons to challenge their fellow Republican. Duncan, 41, was tightlipped about why he is considering a bid, and Hartnett said Graham had lost his way.

"He wants to work more with the people in the Senate than he does for the people of South Carolina," Hartnett said.

Graham's support of the failed immigration proposal has drawn criticism from many within the GOP.

"I would say that was the substantial issue," said Greenville computer specialist Tim Carnes, 49, who plans to run against Graham.

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