I sure wish New Mexico were more like South Carolina in one way. SC has an embarassment of riches within the state’s GOP. The NM GOP is pathetic.
And – two very good men, Henry McMaster and now Gresham Barrett are running for the GOP nomination for governor.
Both will do the state proud.
FYI – Natalie will make a great first lady for SC (far better than the one at 1600 Penn Ave).
I’ve heard rumors that Thomas Alexander may run for Gresham’s seat. That would be great. He switched parties when I was county GOP chair.
Gresham is announcing this morning.
“...Barrett took over for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) when Graham ran for the Senate in 2002. In Congress, he serves as the number two Republican on the House Budget Committee, as well as on the Financial Services and Foreign Affairs Committees.
He will announce his bid for governor Wednesday via an email to Palmetto State Republicans.
One of the most conservative members of Congress, as rated by National Journal, Barrett will focus on economic and job creation issues, according to an advisor to his campaign. At 9.5 percent, South Carolina has a much higher unemployment rate than the rest of the nation, according to data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Though he is popular especially in conservative circles in South Carolina, Barrett is unlikely to have the Republican primary all to himself. Attorney General Henry McMaster (R) and Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer (R) are both thought of as likely candidates.
This week, McMaster is in Washington for a fundraiser with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at a prominent D.C. power spot. McMaster and Graham were McCain’s two top supporters in the Palmetto State in 2008. That year, McCain won the primary in a state that had proven his downfall in the 2000 presidential primary.
Though Barrett advisors will portray him as an underdog in the race for governor, other South Carolina political observers say he has a good chance to knock off the two statewide elected officials.
“Barrett’s my odds-on favorite to win this primary. Solid conservative, great support base in the vote-rich Upstate, and he connects well with voters on the stump,” said Jason Miller, who managed Sanford’s successful re-election campaign in 2006. “As long as the money comes in, and he has an excellent fundraising team, he should win this thing.”
Barrett “gives a great stump speech and [is] a master of retail politics,” said a South Carolina Republican operative not affiliated with any gubernatorial candidate.
Recent reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show Barrett has $725,000 in the bank to kick off his gubernatorial campaign. McMaster had $778,000 in the bank through the end of the year, while Bauer held reserves of $435,000, according to reports filed with the South Carolina State Ethics Commission.
Democrats expected to run for the seat include state Sens. Vincent Sheheen, Robert Ford and Brad Hutto and state House Minority Leader Harry Ott.
Three members of the South Carolina state House are expected to vie to replace Barrett in Congress in next year’s Republican primary. State Rep. Michael Thompson represents Anderson County, the district’s most populous. State Rep. Rex Rice represents parts of Greenville and Pickens Counties, also in the northern part of the district. And state Rep. Jeff Duncan represents a district closer to Columbia around Clinton and Newberry….”