It is less than two weeks away from the June 10 South Carolina Primary and incumbent candidate Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is wasting no time.
Graham made an informal visit on Thursday morning in Beaufort, meeting with supporters at the Beaufort Realty Office.
The conservative Republican faces six opponents in his upcoming re-election campaign.
Graham said he's never forgotten about the Jasper County Port, but stressed that they must focus on strengthening the Port of Charleston and Savannah first.
"Once you start receiving this new traffic through the Panama Canal, the ships on the ocean are going to be three times as large as they are today, coming through the Panama Canal," said Graham. "If you get Charleston in a good spot, you get Savannah in a good spot, the traffic coming to this part of the Southeast is going through the roof. That makes Jasper possible and viable.
Sen. Graham also said he feels confident going into the primary election and will continue to focus on protecting the military bases and veterans.
According to Graham, "the path to victory runs through your front yard." Given the number of signs seen, he seems to have quite a bit of support going into this race.
"I've never felt better about the campaign than I do today; the level of volunteers is through the roof," Graham said.
With the F35-B fighter jets scheduled to arrive in Beaufort this summer, Graham said protecting the military budget is critical for the sake of the community and the country.
"This is a great place to train Marines," he said. "This is a great place to fly, it's a very supportive community and sequestration kicks back in 2016, and if we do not turn that around, we're not going to be able to buy enough F35s to modernize the Marine Corps aviation fleet, and you just won't have enough need for bases so it would be BRAC on steroids at a time when we need our military the most."
Graham has been instrumental in educating the public about sequestration and said it would devastate the military infrastructure as a whole.
"You would have the smallest Army since 1940, the smallest Air Force in modern history, the smallest Navy since 1915," Graham said.
Given Garaham's military background, he said they have an obligation to defend those who defended us. That's why he wants to reform the Veteran's Affairs broken healthcare system.
"Monopolies in healthcare, government run healthcare as the only option is not good for the veteran, and it will not be good for America," said Graham.
Among Graham's staunch supporters today is Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling, who served two years in the legislature with him.
"There's a man who wants to understand, who wants to listen, who is avoiding the finger pointing, who is avoiding the labeling, who is about business and about getting the business of government done," said Keyserling.
Graham also talked about immigration and social security reform, adding that both parties will need to work together to protect America's future.
Sen. Graham faces six Republican challengers in the June 10 Primary: Bill Connor, Det Bowers, Lee Bright, Benjamin Dunn, Nancy Mace and Richard Cash.
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