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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina Democratic Party is taking sides in one of its primaries for the U.S. Senate.

The party's executive committee voted unanimously Wednesday to endorse state Sen. Brad Hutto of Orangeburg over businessman Jay Stamper in the race for U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham's seat.

Democrats hope to avoid choosing a nominee that many party members can't support. That happened in the U.S. Senate races in 2010 with Alvin Greene and 2008 with Bob Conley.

State Party Chairman Jamie Harrison says party leaders cannot support Stamper because he has felony convictions from 2008 for selling unregistered securities in Nevada and the party isn't sure he has Democrats' best interests in mind.

Stamper says his convictions were a paperwork mistake and Harrison thinks Democrats can only win by acting like Republicans.

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