SC Gov. Haley raises campaign-record $1 million, doubles Democratic challenger Sheheen

ashain@thestate.comJuly 10, 2014 

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Republican Gov. Nikki Haley continues to hold a large fundraising lead over Democratic gubernatorial challenger Vincent Sheheen, doubling his contributions during the past three months and nearly tripling what he has in the bank.

But a petition candidate, financing much of his own campaign, gathered — and spent — more money than both major-party candidates over the past three months.

Haley’s campaign raised $1.05 million during the April-to-June period, a record quarterly haul in her re-election bid. Her previous high fundraising mark was $950,567 set last summer.

Sheheen, a state senator from Camden who lost to Haley in 2010, raised $505,089 in the quarter that ended June 30. His biggest fundraising quarter was $565,508, also last summer.

Sheheen finished June with $1.7 million on hand to spend, according S.C. Ethics Commission filings.

Haley has nearly three times as much with $4.5 million in cash, her campaign said.

The onetime Lexington lawmaker has raised nearly $7 million for the race. That is $3 million more than her total contributions for the 2010 campaign and just $1 million shy of what she and Sheheen combined to raise in that race.

“The story of Gov. Haley’s first term ... is a great one, and we couldn't be more excited to have the resources to tell it,” Haley campaign spokesman Rob Godfrey said.

Sheheen, who started his second bid against Haley last year, has raised a total of $2.7 million.

Sheheen, an attorney, continued to draw support from the legal field. He collected more than $100,000 — 20 percent of his contributions — from attorneys and law firms in the latest quarter, according to Ethics Commission data.

He also continued to draw a majority of his contributions from South Carolina, collecting more than 90 percent of his money in the most recent quarter from the Palmetto State.

“Sen. Sheheen is honored by the strong support from South Carolinians who believe in his vision for honest leadership and real accountability,” Sheheen’s campaign manager, Andrew Whalen, said.

Haley, who had not filed a detailed report with the State Ethics Commission by late Thursday evening, received a little more than half her money from South Carolinians though March 30, according to an analysis of her contribution records.

S.C. campaign reports for the quarter that ended June 30 were due to the state at midnight Thursday.

On Thursday evening, Haley’s campaign sent a list of five out-of-state fundraisers that the governor attended from April to June. Two were held in Florida and one each took place in Texas, Arkansas and New Jersey.

Haley’s campaign did not provide details, including cities and hosts. The campaign earlier had confirmed one event that was held by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a potential 2016 White House candidate.

Sheheen had only one out-of-state fund-raiser during the quarter, his campaign said. The Washington event featured a pair of presidential prospects — Vice President Joe Biden and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

Meanwhile, petition candidate Tom Ervin collected — and spent — heavily over the past three months.

The Greenville attorney collected nearly $1.2 million, but $1.1 million came from a loan, according to S.C. Ethics Commission data. Ervin has borrowed $1.5 million for the campaign that he launched in March.

Ervin, a former state judge and lawmaker who dropped out of the GOP primary to run as an independent in November, raised $62,000 from contributors. More than half came from lawyers and law firms.

He spent $1.4 million during the quarter — more than half on consultants. He also paid nearly $500,000 for advertisements.

Ervin has $32,000 on hand at the end of quarter.

The other candidates in the governor’s race are Libertarian Steve French and United Citizens candidate Morgan Bruce Reeves in November.

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