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Reality star, felon Ravenel running for US Senate

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

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