Two gubernatorial candidates, Rep. Nikki Haley and state Superintendent of Education Jim Rex underperformed their competitors this financial quarter.
According to fundraising totals posted Tuesday:
Rex, a Fairfield County Democrat, has raised nearly $82,000 since he announced his candidacy at the end of September. With about $44,000 cash on hand, Rex trails Democratic front-runner Sen. Vincent Sheheen of Camden who raised more than $229,000 this quarter as well as Charleston attorney Mullins McLeod and Columbia attorney and former lobbyist Dwight Drake.
Haley, a Lexington County accountant and Gov. Mark Sanford ally, raised nearly $148,000 this quarter and now has about $273,000 on hand. She’s badly trailing both U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett and state Attorney General Henry McMaster who each have more than $1 million in their war chests.
Haley is also lagging behind Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer and Sen. Larry Grooms of Berkeley County who posted his fundraising late Monday. Grooms posted a $330,000 total for the quarter including a $260,000 loan to himself. He has more than $300,000 on hand heading into the fourth quarter.
Neither Rex nor Haley have loaned or gifted money to their campaigns. Neither has transferred money between accounts, according to their campaign staff.
Meanwhile, Rex’s camp said they’re certain their fundraising pace will pick up.
“That’s just two weeks of fundraising on his part,” said Zeke Stokes, Rex’s campaign manager. “We’ve got some catching up to do since some of these guys have been fundraising for a couple of months. We’re confident we can raise what we need to win the primary and then then the governor’s race.”
It’s going to take a lot of catching up.
Sheheen has more than $627,000 heading into the fourth quarter - more than the other four Democrats combined. His fundraising includes a $600 gift to his campaign.
Also filing Tuesday was Democrat Sen. Robert Ford. The Charleston attorney brought in nearly $44,000 including a $25,000 loan to himself and a $3,000 gift to his campaign.
Ford has about $21,000 on hand and trails all four of the other Democrats who have filed.
Ford said he does not need a lot of money to win because he’s has a very specific agenda, centered on bringing video poker back to South Carolina to create new jobs.
Ford said he plans to build support through word of mouth and debates.
One final candidate, Democrat Amos Elliot, a Charleston pastor has yet to file. He has until Thursday.
Reach Gina Smith at (803) 771-8658.