Former circus clown running for Congress in South Carolina

A former professional clown for the Ringling Brothers Circus has thrown his hat in the ring for a South Carolina House seat.

Democrat Steve Lough donned a red nose and clown makeup on his campaign website, called ClownForCongress.com, to rally voters to his cause as he runs against four other candidates in the 5th District primary.

"They joke that the president and Congress are all clowns," Lough said when announcing his run, according to The State. "Well, in my professional opinion, they are the worst clowns I've ever seen."

The district, in the northern part of the state near the North Carolina border, includes Cherokee, Chester, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Union and York counties.

The Camden native said he wanted to reform gun laws and provide universal access to health care, the paper reported. Lough cited the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting as one reason he feels strongly about gun reform.

"For the next six months, I couldn't sleep, felt depressed, and every time I worked with a 6-year-old volunteer in the show, I was reminded of the horror of that day in Newtown," Lough told The State. "When none of our gun laws changed, I got mad."

This wasn’t Lough’s first foray into the political arena, having been a volunteer for the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns of former President Barack Obama and the 2016 campaign for Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The Dartmouth College graduate’s campaign slogan was "Aim high! Vote Lough!"

The primary is set for June 12. The winner will face incumbent Rep. Ralph Norman.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.