Politics & Government

Haley to campaign with candidate trying to win Democratic Senate seat

Palmer, left, and Fanning
Palmer, left, and Fanning

With less than a week to go before Election Day, Republican S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley will be campaigning with a GOP state Senate candidate Thursday in a normally reliably Democratic district.

Haley will appear with Mark Palmer, the Republican candidate in District 17, at the Richburg Volunteer Fire Station at 4 p.m.

The governor’s appearance is part of a late push by Republicans to flip the district, which represents Chester, Fairfield and portions of York counties.

Republicans hold a majority of seats in the state Senate. But the GOP majority is riven by factionalism — moderates vs. the pro-Haley establishment vs. Tea Partiers.

District 17 has been represented state by state Sen. Creighton Coleman, D-Fairfield. But Coleman was defeated in the Democratic primary by Mike Fanning of Great Falls.

The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating a complaint by a former student that Fanning had an “inappropriate relationship” with her while he was a high school teacher.

Palmer has called the allegations “very disturbing,” and if true, “show he is unfit to serve in elected office.”

Fanning has denied the allegation and has not been charged with any wrongdoing. That hasn’t stopped state GOP chairman Matt Moore from calling on Democrats to disavow Fanning.