Around the South for Mar. 6: VA, SC & TN

Virginia: Gillespie reducing his debt. Last year, former Republican National Chairman Ed Gillespie achieved a near-upset in his challenge to US Sen. Mark Warner (D), but in the process, he lent his campaign $1 million of his own money. So former RNC Chair Haley Barbour, reports the Washington Post, is hosting a big-ticket fundraiser to help Gillespie. But under election laws, he can only recover $250,000 of his personal debt, so he’ll still lose $750,000 for his close call ……. South Carolina: Boehner safe, say Mulvaney and Sanford. Despite all the talk in Washington of a potential coup to remove House Speaker John Boehner, “there is no strong view to take out the speaker,” US Rep. Mark Sanford (R) told The State newspaper. Although 167 of the 245 House GOPers voted against a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security without restrictive immigration riders, the talk of replacing Boehner “is irrelevant,” added US Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R). Both Sanford and Mulvaney voted against the DHS funding bill favored by Boehner ……. Tennessee: Haslam likens governor’s job to pastor’s. “People think being mayor or governor is like being the CEO of the city or state,” told some 1,000 business leaders in Nashville this week. “It’s actually a lot like being the senior pastor … [deciding] between good things versus other good things.” Commenting on the legislature’s refusal to pass his alternative plan for Medicaid expansion, Haslam said, “While a lot of people felt this is a good idea, the fear of being associated with Obamacare and the lack of trust in the federal government meant it was a hard sell to the legislature,” reported the Memphis Business Journal …….