Greenville businessman John Warren said Monday he is jumping into the race for the Republican nomination for S.C. governor.
In a video posted online, the former Marine said "my new mission is a strong secure South Carolina."
Warren, the founder of a specialty mortgage finance company called Lima One Capital, started exploring a run for governor in December, putting $50,000 of his own money into a campaign account.
His announcement Monday means there are now five Republicans running for governor. The other GOP candidates are Gov. Henry McMaster of Columbia, Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant of Anderson, Mount Pleasant attorney Catherine Templeton and former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill of Williamsburg.
The Republicans will compete in a statewide primary on June 12. A runoff, if needed, will be held two weeks later.
Three Democrats — Charleston consultant Phil Noble, state Rep. James Smith of Columbia and attorney Marguerite Willis, who was raised in Greenville and now lives in Florence — are vying to face the Republican nominee in the Nov. 6 general election.
Warren, the married father of two young sons, was born and raised in Greenville. He led more than 300 combat mission in Iraq during a four-year enlistment in the Marines, according to his website, and was decorated for valor in combat and heroic achievement.
Lending in over 40 states, Lima One Capital has grown into one of the largest lenders for residential real estate investors and homebuilders, according to the company's website. The company has raised more than $1 billion in capital from institutional investors and has more than 80 full-time employees.
In Monday's video, Warren said that if he is elected, “I’ll start by fighting the good ol’ boy system in Columbia that lines the pockets of special interest groups and politicians at the expense of honest, hardworking South Carolinians.”