SC politics: After runoff, SC Republicans pledge unity

Posted on June 25, 2014 

State of State

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley applauds members of the gallery as she delivers her State of the State address to the joint session of the legislature on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 at the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C.

RAINIER EHRHARDT — AP

GOP candidates pledge unity post-runoff

Current and former Republican candidates attended a post-runoff S.C. GOP “Unity Luncheon” Wednesday aimed at uniting the party as it heads into the November election.

The GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, former attorney general Henry McMaster, and his Tuesday runoff opponent, Mike Campbell, attended the event as did the former opponents in a more contentious race, the runoff for state superintendent of education.

Molly Spearman, who won the nomination in Tuesday's runoff, said Wednesday was a wonderful day.

Gov. Nikki Haley addressed criticism of onetime Democrat Spearman that was leveled during the divisive GOP runoff. “Those of you that weren’t with her — invite her to your groups, find out what it is that she believes in,” Haley said.

Spearman's runoff challenger Sally Atwater also attended, saying, “I'm going to be behind all of our nominees.”

Haley said McMaster, an attorney, would be a great partner as lieutenant governor.

Of her own November re-election race, Haley said: “I was actually kind of excited that I was running against a Democrat trial lawyer. Now, I’m really excited because I’m running against two Democrat trial lawyers.”

That jab was aimed at Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, a Camden attorney, and petition candidate Tom Ervin. Ervin, a Greenville lawyer who is a former legislator and judge, describes himself as an “independent Republican.”

Cassie Cope

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