One of South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham’s many challengers has made a bizarre statement in an attempt to undermine the incumbent ahead of the state’s Republican primary.
During a news conference on Thursday, one of the less popular Republican candidates, Dave Feliciano, called Graham’s sexuality into question.
“It’s about time that South Carolina [says] hey, We’re tired of the ambiguously gay senator from South Carolina. We’re ready for a new leader to merge the Republican Party. We’re done with this. This is what it’s about, all of us coming together and saying, one way or the other, one of us is going to be on that ballot in November,” he said, according to The State.
Feliciano is unlikely to earn much of the vote in the June primary—he’s a political novice who only recently declared his candidacy.
Graham’s challengers in the crowded South Carolina primary are trying to pull enough votes away from the incumbent to keep him from getting 50% of the vote. The Palmetto State’s primary rules dictate that one candidate must earn half the party’s votes or face a special run-off race.
The off-color remark was made at a press conference announcing that four of the candidates, including Feliciano, had pledged to support whoever wins the most votes and isn’t Lindsey Graham, according to The State.
Graham is polling well against all the candidates, garnering 45% of the votes in a poll from late February—but that’s not enough to avoid a run-off.
Graham’s spokesman declined to comment on the matter.