The State reports that Henry McMaster is “likely” to file soon for the Lt. Governor’s race, according to his long-time consultant Richard Quinn. McMaster will face Mike Campbell (son of former Gov. Carroll Campbell) and Pat McKinney (an ally of Gov. Nikki Haley) in the primary if he files. McMaster ran in the Republican primary for Governor in 2010 and lost and endorsed Haley in the runoff.
For my non-Palmetto State readers, 2014 will be the last time that the Lt. Governor’s race will be elected as a standalone office. Until recently, the part-time job only presided over the State Senate and broke ties there. In recent years, responsibilities for Office on Aging were added to the Lt. Governor’s portfolio. The resignation of Ken Ard from the office was the tipping point that led to the office being folded in with the office of governor on the ballot. Starting after the 2018 elections, the state senate will elect their own presiding officer internally and that responsibility will no longer belong to the lieutenant governor.
McMaster previously ran for Lt. Governor in 1990 and lost to Nick Theodore. He also lost in a U.S. Senate race to Fritz Hollings in 1986. He was appointed U.S. Attorney for South Carolina by President Ronald Reagan and served as S.C. Attorney General from 2003-2011. McMaster also served as state chairman of the SC GOP in the 1990s. He also was appointed by Haley to the state Ports Authority board and to co-chair an ethics reform committee.
It will be interesting to see whether Haley gets involved in this race since she has ties to all three candidates. As far as McMaster goes, he’s a good man who has served the state for a long time. Even though I might have been partly responsible for some of his headaches as state party chairman, I think he would be a good lieutenant governor. I have nothing bad to say about Mike Campbell and I think he would make a fine lieutenant governor as well. I’m not familiar with McKinney. Campbell ran for Lt. Governor unsuccessfully before and also chaired the SC primary campaigns of Mike Huckabee (2008) and Jon Huntsman (2012) while working for the Newt Gingrich campaign in 2012 after Huntsman dropped out. As an expat living in Maryland since 2006, I won’t be endorsing in this race, just observing it from afar.
Bakari Sellers is the only Democrat running. We have some mutual friends and I ran into him at Old Ebbitt Grill in DC when we were both eating lunch at the bar a couple of years ago when he was in town doing some work for the Democratic National Committee. He’s a nice guy and it was a good conversation.
Lt. Governor was never really a stepping-stone to higher office in the past. If I recall correctly, the last Lt. Governor to be elected Governor was Fritz Hollings, who was elected Governor in 1958. It will be interesting to see if that changes in the future.
Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.
Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.