Gubernatorial Ga Ga – The Republicans July 9, 2007Posted by fitsnews in SC Politics.
HARRELL IN, WILKINS OUT AS FIELD FOR 2010 RACE BEGINS TO TAKE SHAPE
FITSNews – July 9, 2007 – Replacing S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford won’t be an easy task. Except when you stop and think about it, no … it will actually be an incredibly easy task. Frankly, all you’ve got to do is bend over and tie your shoelaces after getting sworn in and you will have accomplished more than Sanford has in five years. Do it while chewing gum and there’s a good chance you’ll end up being designated “Governor for Life.”
Of course, being governor in South Carolina is a lot like being the Queen of England – there’s a lot of pomp and circumstance but very little in the way of actual power. Past governors have had to master the art of horse-trading and exploit the political advantages of their bully pulpit in order to get signature items through the all-powerful State Legislature, a curmudgeony group of status quo defenders that possesses about as much intellectual curiosity as a gardening tool.
Anyway, even though the race to replace His Irrelevancy isn’t for another three years, gubernatorial wannabes in both parties are already testing the waters for potential support. Let’s start today by taking a look at who’s in and who’s out on the Republican side …
DAVID WILKINS – OUT
The former Speaker of the House and current U.S. Ambassador to Canada has skin so thin you need a microscope to see it. He likes the fact that his name is being tossed around as a potential candidate and will probably do a lot of prostrate guffawing over the next year to fan those flames, but our sources tell us he won’t take the plunge in the end and actually declare himself a candidate.
BOBBY HARRELL – IN
The current Speaker of the House is definitely running. Not only that, he’s also got a pretty decent claim to the mantle of GOP frontrunner – which is pretty amazing considering the “fiscally conservative” House of Representatives has jacked state spending by 41% under his watch. Bobby, you got some ‘splaining to do.
HENRY McMASTER – IN
South Carolina’s Attorney General seemed like a frontrunner a few short months ago, but that was before he lost a high-profile rape case in Darlington County and watched his presidential candidate of choice Sen. John McCain enter a campaign freefall over the immigration issue. McMaster is still popular, but hitching his star so closely with McCain’s is costing him.
ANDRE BAUER – OUT
Our sources tell us that South Carolina’s Lieutenant Governor has his eye on the U.S. Congress, not the Governor’s Mansion. And while the question of whether he runs for the First, Second or Fourth Congressional District is worthy of speculation, Bauer isn’t likely to mount a gubernatorial bid given the veritable cornucopia of big-name candidates in the mix.
GRESHAM BARRETT – IN
South Carolina’s Third District Representative is an intriguing mix of fiscal and social conservatism, and he has made no bones about his interest in the Chief Executive’s job. He’ll be among the best at raising money given his in-state and DC connections, but whether he decides to run a Sanford-style pocketbook campaign or a Bob Peeler-style “family values” bid with all that jack will determine if he is able to emerge as a frontrunner.
JIM RITCHIE – IN
The Spartanburg State Senator spent the majority of the recently-concluded legislative session laying the groundwork for a 2010 bid. And while computers in classrooms and alternative energy solutions make for good talking points, Ritchie’s got his work cut out for him if he expects to be taken seriously in what will undoubtedly be a packed field with considerable fundraising and name ID advantages.
Next time we’ll take a look at the Democratic side of the aisle, including names like Inez Tenenbaum, Joe Erwin, Ashley Cooper, James Smith, Joel Lourie and Vincent Sheheen. In fact, we’re so excited about it we can barely contain our