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In South Carolina special election full of characters, donors are just as colorful

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As voters go to the polls in today's primary contests for a South Carolina special congressional election that has garnered attention for its share of colorful candidates, the donors appear just as just as worthy of a second look.

That's not just because the donors are, in most cases -- the candidates themselves. They also include a diverse range of out-of-staters from infamous dark money man David Koch to comedian Stephen Colbert's wife, as Sunlight has reported.

In the final days before polls opened, donations continued to pour in. We're keeping tabs using our Follow the Unlimited Money alert service that sends us emails every time one of the committee's we're watching files with the Federal Election Commission.

Most of the late cash has gone to former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who is trying to make the political comeback of a lifetime just two years after departing office in disgrace. Revelations of Sanford's extra-marital affair with his Argentine lover (now fiance) ended his marriage but not, it now appears, his once-promising political career. By late last month, Sanford was already the dollar frontrunner in the contest to replace Tim Scott, a Republican appointed to the Senate this year. That financial momentum has only continued to build with more late contributors jumping on the frontrunner's bandwagon.

In the 20-day period before today's primary, Sanford raked in $80,050 in contributions of $1,000 or more, bringing him to a total of at least $414,447, according to Federal Election Commission reports. Combined, the six leading Republicans and the Democrat most likely to win her primary, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, have raised over $3 million so far in the race.

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