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2014 GOP PRIMARY COULD SEE A WELL-FUNDED CHALLENGER TO NIKKI HALEY

A South Carolina politician who is fed up with S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley – and capable of financing a credible electoral challenge against her – is seriously considering running against the incumbent “Republican” in the 2014 GOP primary.

Should she be a candidate, that is …

FITS spoke with a pair of veteran Palmetto political consultants over the weekend who confirmed that a candidate “not on anyone’s radar” is currently eyeing the race – which has already drawn plenty of interest from reform-minded challengers as well as a few status quo backers.  Both of these consultants independently confirmed that the candidate vowed to pump “at least $2 million” of their own personal fortune into the race in the event they decided to jump in.

That’s some major cheddar …

So … who is this “mystery candidate?”

Both consultants flatly refused to say …. in fact not only did they flatly refuse to say, they refused to provide us with anything in the way of potentially identifiable information about the candidate (i.e. their age, gender, background, what office they currently hold, what part of the state they hail from, etc).  Seriously … all we’ve got to go on is the impressive dollar amount this individual is apparently willing to drop in an effort to knock off Haley, who has veered wildly from the Tea Party/ limited government ideals that she campaigned on less than two years ago.

We offered a pair of guesses (S.C. State Ports Authority Chairman Bill Stern and longtime GOP fundraiser John Rainey) but both of those suggestions were greeted with negative responses from both consultants.  Also, we were able to clarify that they were not referring to any of the individuals currently viewed as possible GOP gubernatorial candidates in 2014 (alphabetically, S.C. Sen. Tom Davis, House Speaker Bobby Harrell, State Treasurer Curtis Loftis, U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, U.S. Rep. Tim Scott, Greenville attorney Billy Wilkins and S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson).

Stern has recently been targeted by Haley in recent months for refusing to go along with her “Savannah River Sellout,” a flagrant betrayal of our state’s long-term economic competitiveness.  Meanwhile Rainey unsuccessfully challenged Haley on a wide range of ethics violations that she “allegedly” committed during her tenure in the S.C. House of Representatives.

Both men have scores to settle with Haley … and the money to settle them … but for now it appears they will content themselves with throwing their significant financial weight behind whichever candidate emerges as the most credible primary option to Haley.

Who do you think the mystery candidate is?  And more importantly, do you think Nikki Haley deserves a second term?  Vote in our poll and post your thoughts in our comments section below …

[poll id=”535″]

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