Thomas Ravenel hits campaign trail in the Upstate - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Thomas Ravenel hits campaign trail in the Upstate

Former SC treasurer Thomas Ravenel visits Greenville. (FOX Carolina/ July 4, 2014) Former SC treasurer Thomas Ravenel visits Greenville. (FOX Carolina/ July 4, 2014)

Former South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel walked around downtown Greenville on Friday afternoon greeting strangers and shaking their hands.

"I'm very passionate. I feel very strongly that our country is on the wrong course," Ravenel said.

The campaign trail is where he feels most comfortable. It's where he gets to talk to people and talk politics.

"I think we've got too much government, which takes away our freedom," Ravenel said.

He said too much government shrinks our liberties and that's why he want to take on U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham in November. He's running as an independent because he says some Republicans are too conservative and some Democrats are too liberal.

"I sincerely believe that individual adults should be able to make the important decision in their lives when it comes to education, health care or their retirement," Ravenel said.

He hasn't been on the political trail in a while. Back in 2007, he was indicted on cocaine charges and served 10 months in prison. He says the experience showed him the criminal justice system isn't fair for those who aren't as fortunate as he is.

"You're in this legal purgatory where the right to borrow money, or to get a job. You fill out an application - have you ever been in prison? You can't get a job," Ravenel said.

He said he's learned a lot about taking responsibility and says he's an honest man.

"That's how I got in trouble by the way with the cocaine. They told me I should've kept my mouth shut," he said.

He made his way from the reality of a prison cell to the reality TV show Southern Charm. He became a fan favorite by putting politics aside and showing a more personal side.
"I think it helped because it showed that I'm transparent, I'm honest," he said.
And he hopes that people will see him as the right choice for the U.S. Senate seat, so he can help the country and the state.

Ravenel says he believes he will get the 10,000 signatures to get his name on the November ballot.

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