Colbert Busch's personal past may shape her political future - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Colbert Busch's personal past may shape her political future

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By Victoria Hansen
vhansen@abcnews4.com

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- Chances are you  know her as the Democratic candidate in the 1st Congressional District race, a businesswoman and the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert.

But Elizabeth Colbert Busch says it's what has happened in her personal life that has prepared her for the very public life of politics.

"Those challenges have brought me here today, sitting with you," said Colbert Busch.

Perhaps the biggest challenge came when she was in college in 1974. That's when her father and two brothers were killed in the crash of Eastern Air Lines Flight 212 in Charlotte, N. C.

She says she came home to the strongest woman she's ever known, her mother.

 "Here  was this woman who lost the love of her life and two of her sons and you know what she said to me?" said Colbert Busch. "She said, 'Life is good,  it's difficult, it's hard. But  keep one foot in front of the other.  No matter, what keep your eye on the prize.'"

Those words have come to serve her well. She remembered them years later when she found herself newly divorced with three young children.

"I've learned what its really like to need a job, to understand what its like to be a single parent, to know what its like to wonder, 'What am I going to do to take care of these children?'" she said.

At her mother's urging, Colbert Busch went back to school at the College of Charleston. She got her B. A. in Intermodal Transportation and Logistics Management. She was also  named to the National Deans List.

"I would never change anything about my life. Every step was for a purpose," she said.

Today, her steps are quicker. They have to be. She's running a fast-paced race against former Gov. Mark Sanford.

"Its been exhilarating," said Colbert Busch.

It should be. She's found herself with not only the support of fellow Democrats, but Republicans as well.

"Imagine, to have a group of Republicans step up and say we're with you and we're going to come out and we're going to support you," she said.

Colbert Busch says she honed her skills as a negotiator early on. She's one of 11 children. Eight of those siblings are brothers.

"I can do this. I've been in business for 25 years," said Colbert Busch. "I am thick-skinned. I am tough. You have to be if you're one of 11, right? You have to be. And I will do what's in the best interest of the district."

If she wins the election May 7,  Colbert Busch would be the first Democrat to hold the seat since 1978 and the first woman since 1939.

"I would be very, very proud," she said.


  • Victoria Hansen

    Email: vhansen@abcnews4.com Reporter Profile




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