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      Orangeburg lawmaker running for U.S. Senate

      Orangeburg state senator Brad Hutto has announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate.
      COLUMBIA (WACH/AP) -- Orangeburg state senator Brad Hutto has announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate.

      Hutto has been representing Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton, and Orangeburg counties since 1996.

      The longtime state lawmaker said Washington is broken and it's time SC has someone from outside the beltway help improve South Carolinians lives.

      "We send billions of tax dollars to D.C. every year yet we have crumbling roads, failing schools, and struggling rural communities to show for it. and both sides are to blame," said Hutto.

      According to Hutto's campaign, the senator often leads the fight to improve schools, promote renewable energy options, and protect our natural resources and in the forefront of causes to insure the individual rights and liberties of all.

      "We need a leader in the Senate who will spend more time talking to folks in Barnwell, Bishopville, and Beaufort than appearing on Sunday morning talk shows. I will focus on job creation with special emphasis on rural South Carolina," said Hutto. "We need to require our overseas allies to accept a larger role in their own security so that we can start refocusing attention on rebuilding roads and schools in our own country," adds Hutto.

      Hutto paid the $10,440 filing fee Friday to make his surprise entry into the crowded race. He will remain in the state Senate while he runs.

      Hutto's decision means there will be a June primary for both Democrats and Republicans.

      Hutto will face Jay Stamper, while six Republicans have filed to take on Graham as he seeks a third term. The latest person to join the GOP primary on Friday was Columbia attorney Benjamin Dunn.

      Hutto lives in Orangeburg with his wife Tracy, his son Skyler is a law student at Indiana University.

      Senator Hutto graduated from the Honors College at the University of South Carolina and received his law degree from Georgetown University. Hutto, an Eagle Scout remains active with Scouting on many levels.