COLUMBIA, SC — The appreciation between Gov. Nikki Haley and U.S. Rep. Tim Scott didn’t stop with their statements at Monday’s news conference, where Haley said she was appointing Scott to the U.S. Senate.
The Republicans also swapped fundraising pitches for each other this week.
Scott, who becomes the state’s first African-American U.S. senator when he takes office Jan. 3, must run in 2014 to serve the final two years of Jim DeMint’s six-year Senate term.
“Our country simply can’t afford four years of an unchecked Obama presidency,” Haley wrote her supporters this week, urging them to support Scott in 2014. “Tim Scott is on our side. He speaks conservative, he votes conservative, and his values are conservative. … Will you help give Tim a warm welcome to the U.S. Senate by making a donation?”
Haley, of Lexington, has not formally announced that she will seek a second four-year term in 2014. However, Tim Pearson left his job as the governor’s chief of staff this fall to run her political operation. Pearson ran Haley’s campaign in 2010.
And Scott sent out an email this week stumping for dollars for Haley.
“As I send this, (the Democrats) are already preparing their smear campaign against the governor in the next election,” Scott wrote his supporters. “I understand it is the holiday season, but Gov. Haley needs just another $27,450 to end this month strong.”
In addition to sharing the same political party and many of the same Tea Party supporters, Haley and Scott have the same Washington, D.C., political consultant, Jon Lerner. Campaign TV ads produced for Haley and Scott by Lerner’s Red Sea LLC are the first two ads in the portfolio on his firm’s website.
Scott and Haley are not the only politicians trying to raise money for 2014.
State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, the Camden Democrat who narrowly lost to Haley in 2010, sent out a fundraising pitch after a recent poll showed he had a narrow lead over the governor in a hypothetical 2014 race. Sheheen has not formally announced if he will run again in 2014.
S.C. Democratic chairman Dick Harpootlian said Haley was again doing what was best for herself – and not the state -- by sending a fundraising letter a “nanosecond after the (Scott) appointment.”
Harpootlian said he was surprised Scott played along. “He seems a little more clever than that.”
“If Dick Harpootlian thinks that having Sen. Tim Scott is not in the best interests of the state, he’s way out of touch with most South Carolinians,” Pearson shot back.