CHARLESTON, S.C. — Elizabeth Colbert Busch remembers watching the funeral of Robert Kennedy on television, with her younger brother Stephen – now the star of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" – sitting in her lap. She said to herself, "Someday, if they let women run for office, I'm going to."

Now, she's making that dream a reality with a run for Congress. And she isn't worried her brother's fame will overshadow her campaign.

"I'm not. I'm so proud of what he is and what he has accomplished," she said in an interview in her campaign office on a busy Charleston street. "But when people see what I have done and they know the work we have done and they know me as a person and a professional, it will be fine."

Colbert said he plans to support his sister, whom the family calls Lulu. But that won't include mentions on his show – unless, of course, she does something funny.

"Lulu has a job to do, and that's run for Congress. I have a job to do and that's to make jokes," he said. "I would never use my show to get my sister elected. But the fact my sister is running, or that Mark Sanford is running or Teddy Turner is running or Chip Limehouse, who I knew when I was younger, is running - those are all opportunities for my character to make jokes."

Sanford, the former South Carolina governor trying to make a comeback after an affair derailed his political career; Turner, the son of media magnate Ted Turner; and Limehouse, a state representative, are among 16 Republicans running for South Carolina's 1st District seat.

Colbert Busch is one of two Democrats seeking the seat held by Republican Tim Scott until he was appointed to fill the state's U.S. Senate seat, left vacant by the resignation of Jim DeMint. Her Democratic opponent in the March 19 primary is perennial candidate Ben Frasier.

"This is a privilege to be able to do this," Colbert Busch said. "My gut says you're never going to get this opportunity again. And you don't want to turn around as an old woman and say I didn't try."

She said her desire for public service was forged in her youth and tempered by her life experiences of loss, struggle and professional success.

On Sept. 11, 1974, Colbert Busch's father and two of her other brothers – her parents had 11 children – died in a plane crash. She would be in New York on another Sept. 11 in a nearby building that shook when the hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center.

Colbert Busch, who once worked in Washington as an intern for then-U.S. Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings, D-S.C., saw her first marriage end in divorce, leaving her as a single mom making $14,000 a year, she said.

She credits community and family with helping her go back to college and get a degree. Starting as a data entry clerk, she said she worked her way up to become Southeast director of sales and Mexican country manager for Orient Overseas Container lines.

She is now on a leave of absence from her position as the director of business development for Clemson University's Wind Turbine Drive Testing Facility in North Charleston.

"How did I get here? The community told me I could do it," she said. "They took me and pushed me all the way through and I want to give that back. It may sound corny, but it does take a village."

Stephen Colbert said the race is about his sister, not him.

"I want people to know this is her own thing. It's not me doing anything," he said.

Colbert will be in Charleston for a private fundraiser for his sister Feb. 23.

Brian McGee, a professor of communications at the College of Charleston, said Colbert Busch is well-respected in Charleston, but her famous brother might pose some challenges to her campaign.

"One is the risk of sort of having to live in the shadow of her much better known brother," he said. "Another is the possibility that her brother's sort of edgy humor has alienated some swing voters in the district she would very much like to reach out to."

On the other hand, he said, the connection gives Colbert Busch increased visibility – important for a political newcomer.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 2013 to present (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

  • Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 2013 to present (AP Photo/LM Otero)

  • Deb Fischer (R-Neb.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 2013 to present (AP Photo/Dave Weaver)

  • Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 2013 to present (AP Photo/Oskar Garcia)

  • Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 2013 to present (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

  • Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 2011 to present Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) speaks during the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 28, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  • Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 2009 to present Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) attends the 25th annual Brooklyn tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House on January 17, 2011. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

  • Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 2009 to present Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) speaks during the final day of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on September 6, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  • Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 2009 to present Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) speaks at a luncheon to mark the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on January 27, 2009 in Washington. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

  • Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 2007 to present Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) appears at a U.S. Travel Association press conference on May 12, 2011 (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 2007 to present Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) holds a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on March 1, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 2003-09 Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.) attends hearings in Washington on Dec. 5, 2006. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 2002 to present Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) questions witnesses during a hearing on March 29, 2011 in Washington. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • Jean Carnahan (D-Mo.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 2001-02 Sen. Jean Carnahan (D-Mo.) raises her right hand on January 3, 2001 during a swearing in ceremony in Washington. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Newsmakers)

  • Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 2001 to present Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) attends the National Clean Energy Summit 2.0 on August 10, 2009 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

  • Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 2001 to present Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) speaks at a news conference on June 10, 2008 in Washington. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  • Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 2001-09 Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) speaks to reporters after casting her vote on November 4, 2008 in Chappaqua, New York. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

  • Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1999-2011 Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) participates in a news conference on Capitol Hill on April 20, 2010 in Washington. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  • Susan Collins (R-Maine)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1997-present Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill February 1, 2011 in Washington. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  • Mary Landrieu (D-La.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1997-present Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) holds a list of jobs while talking with reporters at the U.S. Capitol on September 20, 2011 in Washington. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • Sheila Frahm (R-Kan.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1996 Kansas Republican Senator-designate Sheila Frahm gestures during an interview on Capitol Hill Monday June 10, 1996. (AP Photo/John Duricka)

  • Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1995-present Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) speaks at the 32nd Annual Women's Campaign Fund Parties of Your Choice Gala on April 2, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Women's Campaign Fund)

  • Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1993-present Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) speaks to reporters on November 30, 2011 at Capitol Hill in Washington. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Patty Murray (D-Wash.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1993-present Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) speaks during day two of the Democratic National Convention on September 5, 2012 in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  • Carol Moseley Braun (D-Ill.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1993-99 Carol Mosley Braun (D-Ill.), the first African-American woman U.S. senator, listens on Jan. 19, 1993 to Zoe Baird, U.S. President-elect Bill Clinton's nominee for U.S. Attorney General. (LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1993-present Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) speaks during a September 28, 2010 hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  • Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1992-present Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) takes the stage during day two of the Democratic National Convention on September 5, 2012 in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • Jocelyn Burdick (D-N.D.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1992 Sen. Jocelyn Burdick (D-N.D., far left), looks on as Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., re-enacts taking the Senatorial oath on Dec. 15, 1992. (AP Photo/John Duricka)

  • Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1987-present Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) speaks on day two of the Democratic National Convention on Sept. 5, 2012 in Charlotte, N.C. (STAN HONDA/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Paula Hawkins (R-Fla.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1981-87 Florida Gov. Bob Graham, the Democratic challenger for the state's U.S. Senate seat, listens as incumbent Republican Sen. Paula Hawkins makes a point during their Oct. 20, 1986 debate. (AP Photo/Ray Fairall)

  • Nancy Landon Kassebaum (R-Kan.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1978-97 Sen. Nancy Landon Kassebaum (R-Kan.) photographed in her office in Wichita, Kansas on Dec. 18, 1978. (AP PhotoJohn P. Filo)

  • Maryon Allen (D-Ala.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1978 Sen. Maryon Allen (D-Ala.) pictured on June 23, 1978. (AP Photo/Croft)

  • Muriel Humphrey (D-Minn.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1978 Muriel Humphrey sits at a desk in the Senate Office Building, vacated by the death of her husband, Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey. She was named by Minnesota Gov. Rudy Perpich to fill his seat and sworn in February 1978. (AP Photo/Peter Bregg)

  • Elaine S. Edwards (D-La.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1972

  • Maurine Brown Neuberger (D-Ore.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1960-67 Sen. Maurine Neuberger (D-Ore.) poses on March 19, 1963 in Washington. (AP Photo/hlg)

  • Hazel Hempel Abel (R-Neb.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1954 A portrait of Sen. Hazel Hempel Abel (1888 - 1966). (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • Eva Kelley Bowring (R-Neb.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1954

  • Margaret Chase Smith (R-Maine)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1949-73 Sen. Margaret Chase Smith (R-Maine) smiles on Jan., 5, 1949 in her Washington office. (AP Photo)

  • Vera Cahalan Bushfield (R-S.D.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1948

  • Gladys Pyle (R-S.D.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1938-39

  • Dixie Bibb Graves (D-Ala.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1937-1938

  • Rose McConnell Long (D-La.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1936-37 Rose McConnell Long walks to work with Sen. Hattie Caraway, right, in Washington, April 20, 1936. She filled the unexpired term of her late husband, Huey P. Long. (AP Photo)

  • Hattie Wyatt Caraway (D-Ark.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1931-45 Sen. Hattie Wyatt Caraway (D-Ark.), photographed in her Washington office on Oct. 22, 1942. She became the first female U.S. senator in 1933. (AP Photo/William J. Smith)

  • Rebecca Latimer Felton (D-Ga.)

    <a href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/women_senators.htm"><strong>Served from:</strong></a> 1922 Rebecca Latimer Felton was the first woman to ever serve in the U.S. Senate. She was appointed by the state of Georgia to fill Sen. Tom Watson's place after his death. (AP Photo)