Politics & Government

10 candidates, 1 stage, 3 things to know

It's one year before statewide Election Day, and tonight 10 candidates seeking to become South Carolina's next governor will debate in Orangeburg.

Voters will go to the polls at least twice in 2010 to elect a successor to Mark Sanford.

Tonight will be the first time candidates from both parties will participate in a debate before a primary, according to organizers. Voters will go to the polls in June to select Democratic and Republican nominees for governor.

Here are three things you should know about tonight's debate.


A narrow focus. The debate, hosted by the S.C. Natural Resources Society, will focus largely on conservation and economic development. ETV's Mark Quinn will moderate. Also participating are Nigel Robertson, of Greenville's WYFF-TV, and Tony Bartelme, of The (Charleston) Post and Courier.


Five Republicans and five Democrats have agreed to appear. They are:


- Former lobbyist Dwight Drake, Columbia

- Sen. Robert Ford, Charleston

- Attorney Mullins McLeod, Charleston

- State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex, Winnsboro

- Sen. Vincent Sheheen, Camden


- U.S Rep. Gresham Barrett, Westminster

- Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, Greenville

- Sen. Larry Grooms, Berkeley

- Rep. Nikki Haley, Lexington

- Attorney General Henry McMaster, Columbia


You can watch. The debate will be streamed live here (use the accompanying link) and televised by ETV, Time Warner Cable Channel 11, at 8 p.m.