Nikki Haley Donor Officially Running For SC-2
As we reported exclusively two months ago, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley was working hard to convince one of her wealthy political donors to run for lieutenant governor – a largely ceremonial part-time post with little real power.
Well guess what: Haley was successful. Her hand-picked candidate – Lowcountry real estate developer Pat McKinney – filed paperwork this month with the S.C. State Ethics Commission (SCSEC). McKinney also donated $1,000 to his lieutenant gubernatorial campaign.
Why would anyone want this office? Good question … we’ll let you know if anyone ever comes up with an answer.
Why does Haley want someone running for this pointless post? Easy: She’s looking to settle a score with the current occupant of the office, Glenn McConnell.
Haley and McConnell – then the powerful president of the State Senate – engaged in a high-profile spat in 2011 following the first of three totally unproductive legislative sessions for the governor. Upset at lawmakers, Haley attempted to convene an emergency session of the S.C. General Assembly in an attempt to force them to address her agenda items – specifically her watered-down government restructuring bill.
The following year Haley and McConnell battled anew after the governor was busted selling our state’s economic interests down the river via the “Savannah River Sellout.” Livid at the governor’s nakedly self-serving act, McConnell referred to her decision – which killed a public-private port in Jasper County, S.C. and diminished the competitiveness of the Port of Charleston – as the “rape of the river.”
McConnell is livid at Haley over her decision to challenge him … in fact sources tell FITS he has commissioned a poll in an effort to determine how feasible it would be to challenge her in a GOP primary for governor.
McConnell actually drew 26 percent of the GOP primary vote in the survey – compared to Haley’s 42 percent. That’s not bad considering she’s an incumbent and he’s never run a statewide campaign.
Of course McConnell is highly unlikely to run against Haley. And he may not run for Lt. Governor either. In fact it’s looking like he will try to paddle on out of Columbia in a government-funded lifeboat – the president’s job at the College of Charleston (assuming he’s not too controversial for the position).
Stay tuned … McConnell must decide soon whether he’s going to let Haley take him out or stand and fight.