Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My First Look at Det Bowers for US Senate

My firm hosted a short meeting with Det Bowers, who has tossed his hat into the ring in the GOP race to unseat Senator Graham.

[Full disclosure: I know the Bowers family personally. I'm about the same age as his two older sons, and I have known him and his family growing up. He was also one of the ministers at my church for awhile.]

[Second full disclosure: I was only able to stay for the first thirty minutes, as I had a court hearing to attend. Accordingly, I missed about half of the discussion.]

Having said that, coming into today's meeting I didn't know anything about Det's political opinions, so I was interested to see what his motivation for running would be, and what his intentions were. My biggest concern was that he was running "to make a statement" rather than to actually win. I have no problem supporting people whom I agree with if they truly want to win, but I have no interest in supporting a candidate who's goal is anything other than actually winning. Because of his late entry into the race, I was worried that he might not be fully committed.

Accordingly, I was pleased to hear Det say that he isn't in the race to just show up. He told us that he decided to enter the race about a month ago. He said that one of the catalysts to his entering the race was when he and his wife recently watched the HBO series John Adams. Det told us that his wife encouraged him to run for this office because it was his duty to his country to try and make it a better place. Det said that his initial response was "I can give you about eight million reasons why I shouldn't run" but his wife dismissed that objection.

Det said that ultimately, he wants to run not against Senator Graham so much as he wants to run for the things that he personally believes in. He emphasized that he felt it was his duty to run for office.

Getting to those specifics, he led off with the idea that he wants to be a Senator that doesn't live in Washington DC. He said that his life is in South Carolina, and he wouldn't be a Senator who goes up to DC and becomes detached from this State. Without directly saying so, it was clear that he believes Senator Graham has made Washington, DC his home.

This dovetailed into his position that politicians shouldn't be in office for long periods of time, and he endorsed the idea of term-limits. He spoke about Washington's overspending, and the how Congress has continually delegated more and more authority and responsibility to the other two branches of government. He was extremely familiar with the Constitution, referencing it specifically in several instances. It was clear that he would seek to reassert Congress' power at the expense of Executive agencies.

He indicated that he would not have voted to confirm either Justice Sotomayor or Justice Kagan due to their views on abortion and homosexuality, but he acknowledged that they would have been confirmed anyway. However, he made a point to de-emphasize social issues, or at least it seemed that way to me.

It appears that his primary motivation for seeking a seat in the US Senate rests more on economic freedom and lessening the federal government's role in trying to direct private action. He told us about a business owner in Charleston who said he pays more  money complying with government regulations than he pays in taxes as an example of the federal government's heavy hand with economic activity.

On the practical side, his son Wyman is dealing with the logistics of the campaign. Wyman briefly indicated that they are looking to raise $500k by March, and he said that "it was a very attainable goal". They hope to have an official campaign website up and running soon as well. In the meantime, if you want to keep up with him, he is on Twitter. Wyman indicated that it was their goal to reach out to people both in and outside of South Carolina, as a US Senator's vote affects more than just one state.

Overall, Det Bowers struck me as a very humble and authentic man who is running for office because he truly wants to try and make this country a better place for his children and grandchildren. I'll be interested to see how his campaign plays out over the next few months.

I haven't decided where I am on this GOP primary, but I'll certainly be watching all the candidates closely.


  1. He's a former Democrat who helped Dukakis. Enough said.... waste of time.

    1. He is a former Democrat, former head of the SC party, I believe. If I had been able to stay, I would have liked to hear about how he changed from that to now being politically to the right of Senator Graham. I'd still like to hear an answer to that, actually.

  2. He indicated that he would not have voted to confirm either Justice Sotomayor or Justice Kagan due to their views on abortion and homosexuality. Meaning he doesn't believe in basic human equality and reproductive right for women. He's part of the problem