SC politics: Fundraising heats up in lieutenant governor’s race

05/24/2014 12:00 AM

05/23/2014 9:31 PM

McMaster to report raising $225,400 in lieutenant governor race

Henry McMaster, the former S.C. attorney general running for the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor, has raised $225,000 since announcing his bid in late March and has $102,848 left to spend before the June 10 primary, according to a pre-election campaign report filed Friday.

None of the three other Republican challengers for the seat – Columbia businessman Mike Campbell, Charleston developer Pat McKinney and Columbia pastor Ray Moore – has filed his financial-disclosure report, due next week. Reports must be filed with the State Ethics Commission 15 days before the primary.

McMaster’s quick fundraising burst still falls short of the money collected by McKinney, who joined the race last year.

McKinney is the only other candidate in race to report significant contributions so far, having raised $723,000, including a $245,000 loan, as of March 31. He had $554,000 on hand at that time.

Moore and Campbell joined the race in March.

McMaster, a lawyer, raised more than a quarter of his contributions – $63,500 – from attorneys or law firms. Two former state attorneys general – Republican Charlie Condon and Democrat Travis Medlock – also contributed to McMaster.

The winner of the GOP primary will face state Rep. Bakari Sellers, the only Democrat seeking the seat, in November. The Denmark attorney had $106,026 on hand as of March 31 after raising a total of $212,534.

Potential election law fix returned to Senate

The S.C. House has taken a new approach to passing a bill designed to prevent South Carolina’s elections from being thrown into chaos again.

The proposal would both create a statewide model for county election boards and give the State Election Commission oversight over those 46 boards.

State elections spokesman Chris Whitmire said Friday that new authority could improve elections.

A panel of House and Senate members had been working on a compromise over different versions of a bill on the structure of county election boards. But that tentative compromise required a two-thirds vote in each chamber. So the House instead attached a proposal to a separate election-related bill and returned that amended measure to the Senate. A simple majority approval in the Senate would send it to the governor’s desk.

Andrew Shain, The Associated Press, staff reports

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