Sen. Lindsey Graham eulogized Lee Bandy, the dean of South Carolina's political reporters, as a clear voice who helped explain the state's complex and fascinating politics to readers for four decades.
Bandy, a retired columnist and reporter for The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., died Monday at 78 from complications of Parkinson's disease.
"South Carolina has lost one of her strongest and most capable voices," Graham said. "He explained what was going on in South Carolina's government and politics with clarity and integrity."
Graham, who faces a contested Republican primary next June in his bid to win a third Senate term, acknowledged that he was sometimes the target of Bandy's writing.
"Lee's criticisms stung, and his praise was appreciated," Graham said. "There was never any doubt Lee called it as he saw it."
Bandy worked for The State for 40 years, half of that time as the state capital paper's chief Washington correspondent. He retired in December 2006.
Bandy's retirement was noted in the Congressional Record. Then-Gov. Mark Sanford, now a Republican congressman from Charleston, S.C., awarded him the Order of the Palmetto, the state's highest honor. He is survived by his wife, Mary Dygert Bandy, three grown children and three grandchildren.