Disgraced Politician Turned Reality TV Star Plans To Run For U.S. Senate

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Bravo TV star and former South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel, who resigned from office in 2007 following an arrest on cocaine charges, plans to make an independent run against Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in November, according to the Associated Press.

Ravenel announced his intention to run on Friday at an Independence Day rally in Greenville, S.C., according to the AP.

Following his 2007 resignation, Ravenel pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge and was sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Since his release, he has become one of the stars on “Southern Charm,” a reality TV show that, according to its website, focuses on the personal lives of Charleston, S.C.’s most aristocratic families and reveals “a world of exclusivity, money and scandal that goes back generations.” The show’s first season ended in April, and it has not been confirmed whether Bravo will produce a second season.

He has also been unable to avoid trouble with the law. Earlier this year, Ravenel pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge in New York, according to the Post and Courier newspaper.

Ravenel plans to run as an independent, but he apparently leans libertarian.

“As a Republican, if you’re not anti-gay, anti-immigrant, pro-war and pro-invading this or that country, you get the cold shoulder,” he told The Daily Beast in a recent interview, discussing his “emancipation” from party labels. “At some point you rationalize certain viewpoints, cognitive dissonance notwithstanding, and you adopt that platform. And the Democrats do the same thing on their side.”

Ravenel, who said he could self-fund his campaign, told The Daily Beast he knows he may not win in November, but thinks his attempts could do the legwork for something else in the future.