Elizabeth Colbert Busch

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Elizabeth Colbert Busch
Elizabeth Colbert

(1954-12-10) December 10, 1954 (age 64)
ResidenceMount Pleasant, South Carolina, US
Alma materCollege of Charleston (BA)
Political partyDemocratic
Robert Legare
Claus Wyman Busch III (Undated.)
RelativesStephen Colbert (brother)

Elizabeth Colbert Busch (born December 10, 1954)[1][2] is the Director of Business Development at Clemson University's Restoration Institute,[3] and was the Democratic Party nominee for the 2013 special election for South Carolina's 1st congressional district, losing to Mark Sanford.[4][5] She is the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Colbert Busch is the eighth of eleven children of parents James William Colbert Jr., who served as the first Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Medical University of South Carolina, and Lorna (née Tuck) Colbert, who was a homemaker.[7][8] The Colbert family is of mostly Irish, with small amounts of English and German, descent.[9][10] Colbert Busch briefly attended the University of South Carolina, but returned to Charleston after her father and two brothers Peter and Paul were among the 71 passengers who died on Eastern Air Lines Flight 212, in 1974.[11] She then enrolled in the College of Charleston, receiving her B.A. in Intermodal Transportation and Logistics Management, and was named to the National Dean's List in 1988.[12]

Elizabeth Colbert Busch is married to Claus Wyman Busch III. She has three children with her ex-husband Robert Legare: Mary Legare Middleton (grandchildren Elizabeth Ann and Thomas Bradley Middleton Jr.); Robert Walker Legare Jr; and Catherine Ann Legare.[12]

She was arrested in 1988 for contempt of court during her divorce from her previous husband.[13]


After graduating, she completed a South Carolina State Ports Authority business development internship, and worked for Associated Maritime Industries Inc, as a liaison between the AMI and the U.S. Federal and State Governments.[14] She then worked as the Regional Director for Sales and Marketing and the Director of Business Development at Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), where she was responsible for international maritime relations and South Atlantic and North American sales.[15][16] She left OOCL in 2008, when she was hired to be the Director of Business Development at Clemson University's Restoration Institute, described by the Charleston Post and Courier as "the school's corporate matchmaker" for the University's development projects for wind turbine testing, water studies, and renewable energy.[14][17] Colbert Busch also works as the Director of Sales and Marketing Clemson's Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility.[18]

Colbert Busch is a founder and former member of the Executive Board of Directors of Charleston Women in International Trade, and former member of the College of Charleston's Business College Alumni Advisory Board.[19] She's also served as chairwoman of the 2006 S.C. International Trade Conference, the chairwoman of the Maritime Association Port of Charleston and is board member of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.[20][21]

2013 congressional campaign[edit]

On January 18, 2013, Colbert Busch announced that she would run for the Democratic nomination in the 2013 special election for South Carolina's 1st congressional district to fill the vacancy of Tim Scott, who was appointed to the United States Senate after incumbent Senator Jim DeMint resigned to head conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation.[22] In the March 19 Democratic primary, she was to face Charleston businessman Martin Skelly, the founder of the Russian-based private equity firm UFG Asset Management.[23]

On February 11, 2013, Martin Skelly dropped out of the race, endorsing Colbert Busch.[24]

On March 19, 2013, Colbert Busch handily won the Democratic primary, obtaining over 95% of the vote compared to perennial candidate Ben Frasier's 4%. She ran but was defeated by former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford.[25] During the election, she garnered 45.3% of the vote compared to Sanford's 54.2%.[26]

Colbert Busch supported background checks as part of a gun control bill that was defeated by the U.S. Senate.[27]


  1. ^ Behre, Robert (February 22, 2013). "Colbert Busch touts her business background". The Post and Courier. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
  2. ^ Donovan, Bryce (February 6, 2010). "Tough times have taught comedian's sister to love life". The Post and Courier. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
  3. ^ "Colbert-Busch Biography". clemsonenergy.com. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  4. ^ Aaron Blake (January 18, 2013). "Stephen Colbert's sister will run for Congress". Washington Post.
  5. ^ "Stephen Colbert's Sister Plots House Run in South Carolina". news.yahoo.com. Archived from the original on January 22, 2013. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  6. ^ John Johnson (January 18, 2013). "Colbert for Congress? Yep—but It's His Sister ELIZABETH COLBERT-BUSCH WILL RUN AS DEMOCRAT IN SOUTH CAROLINA". newser.com. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  7. ^ "Comedian Stephen Colbert's sister to run for Congress". Hartford Courant. Retrieved January 18, 2013.[dead link]
  8. ^ "MUSC honors memory of Dr. Jim Colbert" (PDF). dev.musc.edu. Retrieved January 18, 2013.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Dowd, Maureen (November 16, 2006). "America's Anchors". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 9, 2006. Retrieved December 9, 2006.
  10. ^ Gagnon, Geoffrey (2010). "Top of Mind: Extended Q & A with Henry Louis Gates Jr". Boston. Archived from the original on 2013-12-21. Retrieved February 4, 2010.
  11. ^ "Stephen Colbert On Insincerity". cbsnews.com. February 11, 2009. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  12. ^ a b "Biography of Elizabeth Colbert-Busch" (PDF). Charleston Women in International Trade. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-01-24. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  13. ^ "Colbert Busch discusses 1988 contempt-of-court arrest with Charleston news affiliate". The Island Packet. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  14. ^ a b "Clemson hires development director for Restoration Institute". clemson.edu. February 26, 2008. Archived from the original on 2013-01-22. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  15. ^ "S.C. International Trade Conference" (PDF). scitc.org. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  16. ^ "Speaker InformationElizabeth Colbert-Busch". aweaoff12.mapyourshow.com. Archived from the original on 2013-02-16. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  17. ^ "Stephen Colbert's Sister To Run For Congress". Slate. 2013-01-18. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  18. ^ "Stephen Colbert's Sister Joins Race for Congressional Seat Vacated by South Carolina Senator Tim Scott". gawker.com. Archived from the original on January 20, 2013. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  19. ^ "Our Speaker 8/29/12 - Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, Clemson Director of Business Development" (PDF). rcmpsc.org. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  20. ^ Josh Voorhees. "Today's Speaker - Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, Clemson Director of Business Development" (PDF). rcmpsc.org. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  21. ^ "Elizabeth Colbert Busch honored". abcnews4.com. April 12, 2011. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  22. ^ "No joke: Stephen Colbert's sister plans House bid". politico.com. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  23. ^ "Democrat announces run for Tim Scott's House seat". thehill.com. 2013-01-18. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  24. ^ Miller, Joshua (February 11, 2013). "South Carolina: Skelly Exits Special Election; Colbert's Sister Now Top Democratic Contender". Roll Call. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  25. ^ Gentilviso, Chris (March 19, 2013). "Elizabeth Colbert Busch Wins Democratic Primary In South Carolina 1st District". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  26. ^ Bycoffe, Aaron. "Live Results: Sanford vs. Colbert Busch". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-05-08.
  27. ^ "Mark Sanford and Elizabeth Colbert Busch Debate at The Citadel – ICON". Ivn.us. Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-02.

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