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Campaigns: First to file, Litchfield candidate finishes ninth

By Jackie R. Broach
Coastal Observer

Jim Mader wasn’t nervous when he sat down with a small group of friends and family at Quigley’s Pint and Plate to await the results of the Republican primary on Tuesday.

His run for the 7th Congressional District was his first bid for office, and there were eight other Republicans in the race — most with more campaign experience and more money. He was undoubtedly an underdog, despite being in the race the longest. He announced his plans to run more than a year ago, before he even knew which district Georgetown County would be in, saying he was tired of being part of the “silent majority.”

Still, “there’s nothing to be nervous about, really,” Mader said. “Nervous is when you win. That’s the part that makes you nervous, because you’re going ‘well is there going to be a runoff? What do I do to get ready for November?’ Then you’re going ‘oh, my God! It actually happened.’ ”

It didn’t happen for Mader. The Litchfield resident, who owns a landscaping business, finished last, but is undaunted.

The campaigning was “just as bad as I thought it was going to be,” he said. “But it was also a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be. There were a lot of good people out there and I really liked meeting the good people.”

He’d absolutely do it again and, if the person who wins the seat in November doesn’t do a good job, Mader will do it again.

“Hopefully that person does a bang-up job and isn’t just all fluff and talk,” he said. “If that’s the case, I’ll support him for the next run. If it is all fluff and talk and nothing changes, then he’s already got a primary challenger in 2014 — not because I really want to be in politics, but because I care about what’s going on and I don’t like this fluff stuff.”

Mader said he’ll stay involved in the coming months, getting out in the community and talking with people. He’s also selected candidates he’ll support in November if they’re interested.

And he encourages more people to take a page from his book and take a chance for change.

“I want more people to run for office, even if they don’t have a chance, because the more people that are out there, the more that somebody will understand they’ve got to clean up their act,” Mader said. “We need more people that will do it for the right reason.”

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