Texas Gov. Rick Perry will skip today's Palmetto Freedom Forum at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center so he can return to Texas and help the state respond to wildfires.
"This has turned into a fairly catastrophic event in Texas. Twenty-six thousand acres are burning or have burnt," said Katon Dawson, an advisor to Perry's South Carolina campaign. "It’s basically on the outskirts of Austin. It’s gotten worse, and we certainly hope no one tries to politicize this."
Dawson said Perry would try to participate in the forum via phone, but Rob Godfrey, a spokesman for Gov. Nikki Haley who is helping staff the forum today, said that won't be possible.
Wildifires, sparked by winds from Tropical Storm Lee, are blamed for at least two deaths so far, according to media reports.
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"We just hope the thoughts and prayers of, certainly the people of South Carolina, and with the whole country are with the people of Texas right now," Dawson said.