Just a week ago, S.C. Democrats were praying for one candidate to emerge in the 2018 governor’s race. Now, they have two to choose from.
Charleston businessman Phil Noble confirmed to The State newspaper Tuesday that he officially will announce his candidacy Wednesday, challenging state Rep. James Smith, D-Richland, for the minority party’s nomination.
Noble ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 1994. He also ran unsuccessfully for S.C. Democratic Party chairman in 2011.
Noble said he is running because South Carolina needs change.
“As the State House corruption scandals and the SCE&G nuclear mess have proven – there is a disease of corruption that is infecting our politics,” Noble wrote in a statement. “Only an independent outsider can bring real reform that will move our state forward.”
In response, Smith said he is running for South Carolinians, not against anyone. “I am encouraged by the more than 550 people who have donated to our campaign in the first four days and the overwhelming response we have seen online and on the ground.”
S.C. Democratic Party chair Trav Robertson said the newfound interest in the 2018 governor’s race by Democratic candidates is the start of a trend.
“Democrats are ready to take our state back from the Republican culture of corruption,” Robertson said. “We expect more Democrats to run for offices across South Carolina.”