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Reality star, felon Ravenel running for US Senate

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(AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins). Former South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel fills out paperwork Monday, July 14, 2014, at the state Election Commission headquarters in Columbia, S.C.,  to run as a petition candidate for the U.S. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins). Former South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel fills out paperwork Monday, July 14, 2014, at the state Election Commission headquarters in Columbia, S.C., to run as a petition candidate for the U.S.
(AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins). Former South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel talks to reporters after applying to run as an independent candidate for the U.S. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins). Former South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel talks to reporters after applying to run as an independent candidate for the U.S.
(AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins). Former South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel talks to reporters after applying to run as an independent candidate at the state Election Commission headquarters on Monday, July 14, 2014, in Columbia, S.C., for the U.S. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins). Former South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel talks to reporters after applying to run as an independent candidate at the state Election Commission headquarters on Monday, July 14, 2014, in Columbia, S.C., for the U.S.
(AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins). Former South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel brings in a box containing signatures to get him on the ballot, as he applies to run as a petition candidate for the U.S. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins). Former South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel brings in a box containing signatures to get him on the ballot, as he applies to run as a petition candidate for the U.S.
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By JEFFREY COLLINS
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Former South Carolina treasurer, reality TV star and convicted felon Thomas Ravenel plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Lindsey Graham.

Ravenel presented about 16,500 signatures from registered voters on Monday. If election officials verify the signatures, he will be an independent on the November ballot.

The star of the "Southern Charm" cable television show entered the Election Commission office twice at the request of television news crews trying to get the best shot of him carrying his paperwork. But he insists his candidacy is serious.

Ravenel was a Republican rising star when he became state treasurer in 2007, but had to resign months into his term after he was charged with buying cocaine. He later pleaded guilty.

The state Republican Party called Ravenel's current candidacy an embarrassment.

___

Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at http://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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