Five GOP hopefuls vying to be SC’s next governor

Five GOP hopefuls vying to be SC’s next governor

COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - There are five Republican candidates vying to be the next governor of South Carolina.

The primary election is less than one week away, so before heading out to the polls, WMBF News looked into where each Republican candidate stands in the pre-election polls and the basis of each campaign.

The most recent Target-Insyght poll shows current South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has the backing of 37 percent of GOP voters.

McMaster took office in 2017 after former Gov. Nikki Haley was appointed the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

McMaster is campaigning hard with his endorsement from President Donald Trump as a way to help get more votes. As governor, he said he will work to create good-paying jobs, grow the economy and protect conservative values.

"We've got teachers who need pay, we've got law enforcement who need pay, prison, corrections officers. We have a lot of legitimate needs that seems will never be enough money, but we can do it on existing taxes," McMaster said.

Catherine Templeton, former South Carolina Director of Labor, Licensing and Regulation during Haley's administration, is asking constituents to send a conservative outsider to Columbia.

"When you talk to the legislators in Columbia about why they're keeping our money, they say it's to spread it around to the rural towns," Templeton said. "Well, I'm telling you I've been to the rural towns; they aren't getting it back either."

Templeton has the support of 25 percent of GOP voters. She frequently references the hope to bring the momentum Haley's administration brought when she won as Governor.

Following closely behind Templeton at 20 percent is John Warren.

"Ultimately the attacks are because I am climbing in the polls and other people's campaigns are collapsing," Warren said as the second place fight gets closer.

Warren calls himself a businessman, a conservative and a Marine. He spent $3 million of his own money in his bid to become governor. Included on his website is his story.

In 2009, Warren founded Lima One Capital, a mortgage finance company that's been recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the state. If elected he is promising a stronger and safer South Carolina.

S.C. Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant holds the support of 5 percent of GOP primary voters.

"The question that we hear over and over again is why is the integrity not represented in South Carolina, not represented in Columbia?" Bryant said.

Integrity is the basis of Bryant's campaign, along with ethics reform. He took office in 2017 after serving in the S.C. Senate for 12 years.

Bryant said it's time for the character and integrity of the people of S.C. to be reflected in the state's government.

Former state Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill has the backing of 3 percent of voters. He comes with 25 years of experience in the state Senate.

McGill said he wants to bring change by stripping power and funding from the state government and giving it back to the people, and to make better decisions locally.

"We can't be the tourism destination on the entire East Coast and not have a mega four-lane highway coming into the coastal area of Horry County," McGill said. "Economically, it will create thousands of jobs."

The primary election is Tuesday, June 12.

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