Admittedly, I know next to nothing about South Carolina politics. Like, I’m aware Mark Sanford is a person who exists, but that’s about it. ("Hey, Kristie? Read a newspaper," said everyone.) So, it shouldn't be shocking that Thomas Ravenel’s name didn’t ring a bell while I watched the Southern Charm premiere. But after hearing snippets about him during the ep, my mind raced with a pile of questions: Who IS this Thomas Ravenel guy? What's his story? How could a polo field cost $1 million? Isn't it just a big square of grass? What is polo? (I'm still working on those last three inquiries.)
Thomas was the SC Treasurer, then went to jail for serious coke charges, and is now trying to get his foot back in the political door. BUT! He refuses to clean up his image/stop doing him. In the words of Polonius, "To thine own self be true" (ain't that right, Thomas Ravenel?)
After the Southern Charm premiere, I went Googling. Fortunately, Thomas is a big effin' deal in SC, so there's a hefty amount of local and national news about him. Here are a few notes:
- His father, Arthur Ravenel, Jr.,was a politician in Charleston.
- There is a cable suspension bridge in Charleston named The Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge. Nope, it was not named after another Arthur Ravenel, Jr.: Thomas's dad has a giant bridge named after him. A BRIDGE. A GIANT BRIDGE. Why? Because Arthur helped get the bridge funded.
- Thomas has a Masters in Business Administration, and in 1992, he started the Ravenel Development Corporation. He makes serious cash money.
- He digs polo.
- Thomas ran for state Senate in 2004 (he funded his own campaign), but he did not win.
- In 2006, Thomas ran for Treasurer and won.
- In 2007, he resigned as SC State Treasurer when he was indicted on cocaine charges with intent to distribute (but not sell). He served several months in prison. [Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/Thomasravenel/statuses/433280834335166464]
- Before the drug charges, he was the state chairperson for Rudy Giuliani’s Presidential campaign.
- He is a Libertarian and is all for the legalization of narcotics.
- In 2011, he sued ex-fiancé Danielle Tosi when she wouldn't return the engagement ring. He didn't win the $47,500 ring back, but a settlement happened, so I guess everything's hunky-dory.
- In 2013, he was arrested for drunk driving. The case has been put on hold until May 8.
- He could run for Senate against SC Senator Lindsey Graham in 2014. He says he'd run as an Independent.
- His house reminds me of an antique dollhouse (that's a compliment): [Embed] <img alt="" src="http://lovelace-media.imgix.net/getty/181561736.jpg?w=400&h=225&fit=crop&crop=faces&fm=jpg&q=65" class="article-body-image"/>