While we’re all familiar with comedian and satirist Stephen Colbert’s brand of political engagement, the same can’t be said of Colbert’s older sister, Elizabeth Colbert Busch. Opposite of her brother, Colbert Busch has entered the political scene in South Carolina’s special congressional election for the first congressional district — and it’s no joke.
According to the latest poll, Colbert Busch is in a dead heat against her opponent, former Governor Mark Sanford. With Colbert Busch trailing behind at 46% and Sanford leading at 47%, there is a mere 2.8% margin of error between them. The latest poll shows a huge leap for Sanford who was said to have been behind by 9 points two weeks ago.
As a counter-strategy to get ahead of his opponent, Sanford went on the aggressive against Colbert Busch, painting her as a liberal who would be enslaved to the leaders and policies of the Democratic Party, as well as linking her to Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic based groups in Washington. At one point, Sanford went as far as to label a board cutout of Pelosi as a “stand-in” for Colbert Busch.
More elements into this race that make it a close call stems from past controversies on Sanford’s end with his disappearance in 2009 as a result of an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina and the recent trespassing charge his ex-wife is pressing against him.
In an interview, Colbert described his sister as a “business woman” and “job creator.” In the very same interview, a rival of Colbert Busch’s in the Democratic primaries, Ben Fraiser, said he didn’t endorse Colbert Busch because he found her “too beholden to the political left” to represent the district properly.
If she wins, Colbert Busch, a Democrat, would be the first of her party to hold a seat in the first congressional district in South Carolina after GOP rule for three decades. She would also be replacing the seat of former representative Tim Scott.