Chef Nathalie Dupree launches write-in bid for Jim DeMint's Senate seat

Image by Nathalie Dupree

Updates at the bottom.

Thought the campaign trail for one of South Carolina's Senate seats was odd enough with Alvin Greene running? Well add a celebrity chef to that stew.

Charlestonian Nathalie Dupree has officially launched her bid to take down Senator Jim DeMint for, as she says, not paying enough attention to South Carolina's needs.

Head on over to Live 5 News for a video of Dupree's speech and an interview about her, apparently serious, election bid. Also, The New York Times has a nice brief.

Update October 13: Here's oodles more info about why she's running and some directions on how to give her your write-in vote, from an e-mail:

To Cast a Write-in Vote for Nathalie Dupree:

  • Touch the "Write-in" button on the U. S. Senate screen.
  • A keypad will appear, allowing you to type in: Nathalie Dupree.
  • Press ACCEPT and the screen should display Nathalie Dupree's name for U. S. Senate.
  • Finally, finish selecting your candidates, review your choices and then press VOTE.

  • If Jim DeMint isn't your cup of tea, please read on. (At the end is a copy of my announcement speech to run against him.) As you will see, I began by saying "I plan to cook his goose." With his references since then about gays and unmarried mothers, I've decided he's really a turkey.

    The announcement spells out why I'm running, focusing on Jim Demint's irresponsibly stubborn refusal to join Lindsey Graham in getting earmark funds necessary for the port of Charleston. I found it sufficiently outrageous to enter this race. My goal is to expose him for what he is-a bigot who refuses to help the needs of our state and its people.

    The New York Times ran a story on my announcement, which was picked up by The Charlotte Observer. The Washington Post and also ran stories. The Wall Street Journal ran a story about me last Friday. This Friday I'll participate in a forum on congressional candidates in Beaufort. My website, has my opening press announcement, campaign speech, and bio.

    We've filed with the Federal Elections Commission, campaign contributions have exceeded our expectations, and they are accelerating. In the next couple of days, we'll post a video on the web site and YouTube on how to submit a write-in vote on the voting machines.

    It is time to balance our state's representation in the Senate with two senators who can agree or disagree on national issues, but work together for the people of South Carolina. For 38 years, South Carolina had Strom Thurmond and Fritz Hollings in the Senate. They were men of different parties and philosophies who worked together for our state. This insured that no matter who occupied the White house South Carolina's interests were covered.

    To accomplish my goal, would you help by doing one or two of the following things? Talk to and forward this email to your friends and family. Write a letter to the editor, or blog . Go to my website and sign up on our contact page. And please donate to my campaign to help me get our message to the people of South Carolina. You can contribute on-line through my web site or send checks made out to "Nathalie Dupree for U. S. Senate," 100 Queen St., Charleston, SC 29401.

    I'm running as an independent Democrat. I know I'm a long shot candidate, but I also know the people of South Carolina, and they know me. During my run of 300 PBS and Food Network cooking shows, I've been in their homes. They know I can put the food on the table. And my next recipe is Cream DeMint.

    Thank you,

    Nathalie Dupree

    Announcement Speech-Why I'm Running

    I'm Nathalie Dupree and I'm asking the people of South Carolina to write in my name as a write-in candidate for the U.S. Senate against Jim DeMint. I have one goal in this campaign: to cook Jim DeMint's goose. First I'll have to find him, which means searching for him--in Delaware or Alaska, or Florida, or Ohio, or Nevada, or maybe I'll find him in Arizona.

    He's already given a million dollars to candidates in those states who opposed main-stream Republicans. In Washington the Democrats laugh at his antics, and the Republican leadership is getting disgusted. What he really needs is a one-way ticket home. The Democrats in the Senate don't respect him, and the Republican leadership would be happy to see him go away.

    I love living in South Carolina and recognize, along with a majority in the Palmetto State, that dedicated, focused, and enlightened leadership is needed for us to move forward in the second decade of the twenty-first century. And we need two full-time South Carolina senators working for us.

    And now Sen. DeMint's stubbornness and bad ideas about earmarks--federal grants for a specific project-threaten the port of Charleston. The largest of our five ports, it serves as an economic engine for all of South Carolina. Without the port of Charleston, there would be no BMW in South Carolina, which generates almost 50,000 jobs in the state. There would be no Michelin with its 10,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs and its North American headquarters in Greenville. The port was essential in wooing Boeing to Charleston for its Dreamliner. To say all earmarks are bad is like saying all milk is bad because you have a carton that turned sour.

    Because of cooperative efforts by both of their senators, every other state with a significant port on the east coast is receiving earmarks that will lead to deepening of its harbor. These $400,000 grants will allow the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a study required before their port can be deepened as needed for the larger ships that in 2014 will be crossing an expanded Panama Canal. Sen. Lindsey Graham is trying, but Sen. Demint's small-minded, stubborn refusal means that our state is being punished, all because he refuses to join Sen. Graham in asking for an earmark. It's wrong and it hurts our state and its people.

    It's time for South Carolina again to have two full-time senators who can work together with each other and their Senate colleagues for the good of our nation and the good of our state. It's sheer idiocy to follow the policies of Sen. DeMint and Gov. Mark Sanford in their opposition to passage and acceptance of stimulus funds that already have created or saved thousands of jobs in South Carolina that otherwise would go elsewhere. It's time to balance our state's representation in the Senate with two senators who can agree or disagree on national issues, but work together for our state.

    What I love about this state is its capacity to come together on issues important to all of us, to accept ideas from within, to show others that we can act for the good of all of our people. The people of South Carolina makeup their own minds, as demonstrated by the write-in campaign of Strom Thurmond. He won. And I acknowledge that I'm no Strom Thurmond. The odds of that happening today are far greater, and I know that, too. But it's a fight worth making that will enable us to show South Carolina's real stuff to the nation.

    My husband has written two biographies of Sen. Thurmond, and thus I clearly know that while Strom voted against a number of new programs by the federal government, whenever legislation passed he made darn sure that South Carolina got every dollar available for programs needed for our state. For 38 years, South Carolina had Strom Thurmond and Fritz Hollings in the Senate, men of different parties and philosophies who worked together for our state. No matter who occupied the White House, South Carolina's interests were covered.

    I'm a long-shot candidate, yes, but I've been in the homes of hundreds of thousands of South Carolinians over the years through my cooking shows and books. I know you, you know me, and you know I mean business when I tackle something. My viewers know me and trust me to put the food on the table.


    Best known for her 10 cook books and host of more than 300 television cooking shows on PBS, The Food Network and The Learning Channel, she is also an experienced business woman, having owned her own restaurant, been chef of a restaurant in Majorca, Spain, and of Nathalie Dupree's restaurant in the Marriott Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. She has written extensively for newspapers and magazines. Her broad view of the world reflects Nathalie's having lived in England, Spain and France. She has traveled extensively, including China, Ecuador, Russia, Egypt, Israel, Australia and Canada. The daughter of an Army colonel, as a young woman she believed that before going to Europe she should see America first and fulfilled that goal by traveling alone on a bus across the United States. She has been featured in numerous magazines and newspaper articles, and has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Good Morning, and CNN. She has a master's degree in creative writing from the College of Vermont and an honorary doctorate from Johnson & Wales University. She also has an advanced certificate from the Cordon Bleu. She has been married for 16 years to historian and former journalist Jack Bass.

    Paid for by Nathalie Dupree for U.S. Senate

    Mailing address:
    Nathalie Dupree for U.S. Senate
    100 Queen Street
    Charleston, SC 29401


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