On Southern Charm, everyone talks a big game about family legacy and living their well-to-do lifestyle, but perhaps no one does this quite as much as Thomas Ravenel, which may leave some of you wondering: what is Thomas Ravenel's job? Well to be honest it's kind of hard to tell what his job is precisely these days, though his resume is impressive enough. Before the show even aired, Thomas had been in the news for his rising political career and the subsequent crashing and burning of this political career. So let's dive right in shall we?
In his own words, Ravenel's Bravo bio reads a lot like what you might read on his website if he were once again running for office instead of starring on a reality TV show. The biography lists in detail the history of his career accomplishments, starting with his education at the Citadel and then the University of South Carolina, followed by his successful real estate development company. He eventually decided to go into politics, resulting in his being elected State Treasurer of South Carolina, a position he no longer holds. A lengthy profile on Thomas in Gawker goes into a lot more detail about his political career, it's highs, how it got so very derailed.
Thomas's family has a long history in politics in South Carolina. In fact, he's the son of Arthur Ravenel Jr., the former Republican South Carolina state senator and United States congressmen. Ravenel Bridge really was named after Thomas' family. It makes sense that Thomas was following in his father's political footsteps, and in 2007 Thomas was lauded as a rising political star, that is until he was indicted on federal cocaine charges and sent to a halfway house. On the show, you may have remembered Thomas being extremely open about his drug use, saying, "What I realized later was I just really liked the smell of it."
Thomas tried to revive his political career by running for office in 2014 against incumbent Lindsay Graham, which was all caught on camera. The show followed Thomas as he shot questionable commercials and attempted to win people over at parades. Thomas lost the election with a stunning 3.9 percent of the vote. So, this political rebound didn't exactly go his way — potentially because of his close ties with the reality series, which made it difficult for people to take him seriously.
As for what he's doing now? Aside from appearing on the show, it's a little difficult to say at the moment. His LinkedIn page claims that he is still running for senate, which he clearly no longer is, while his Bravo bio states only that he's active with the Cato institute, though I don't know if that makes him any money. He presumably still earns some income from his real estate development company Ravenel Development Corporation, though I don't know if he's gearing up for another political run.
Of course, if I had to hazard a guess, I would assume that Thomas would sooner embark on another business venture rather than throw his hat in the political ring once again. Then again, the nation elected a reality TV star to the nation's highest public office once before. So maybe there's hope for Thomas' political career after all. After the 2016 presidential election, I really don't feel comfortable making these kinds of predictions any more.
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