Former S.C. Lieutenant Gov. André Bauer is mulling another run for governor in 2014 – although sources familiar with his thinking say he’s eyeing a third party bid, not another “Republican” primary challenge.
“He’s envisioning a libertarian leaning campaign,” says a source who spoke with Bauer about his plans.
Wait … André Bauer? A libertarian?
While we suppress a chuckle at that thought (Bauer was a status quo “Republican” during his two terms as lieutenant governor), the prospect of the 44-year-old Charleston native running as a third party candidate is a very interesting concept to consider.
Can he win? Of course not. Bauer finished dead last in the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary – garnering just 12.4 percent of the vote. And last year, he was thumped in the GOP runoff for the state’s seventh congressional district by liberal Republican Tom Rice.
But with his statewide network of loyal supporters, Bauer could conceivably pull enough votes away from “Republican” Gov. Nikki Haley to deliver the Governor’s Mansion to the Democrats. Remember, Haley barely edged Democrat Vincent Sheheen in 2010 – a year in which GOP turnout was off the charts. And her first two years in office were nothing short of a disaster – although she has managed to stop the bleeding through the first few months of 2013.
In other words, even in “Republican-controlled” South Carolina Haley is going to need every vote she can get – and a Bauer third party candidacy (or any pseudo-credible third-party candidacy emanating from either the right or center-right) could spell doom for her.
Bauer did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment on his 2014 plans.
For those of you unfamiliar with their lingering political feud, Bauer has plenty of motivation to run against Haley – who endorsed his opponent in last year’s congressional race (after this corrupt bargain fell through).
Haley also publicly accused Bauer of being responsible for the multiple affair allegations leveled against her during her 2010 bid – although Bauer passed a lie detector test in response to her charge.
This website is obviously no friend of either Haley or Bauer. We believe both are typical South Carolina “Republicans” – Haley is just better at playing the game than Bauer is. Having said that, Bauer doesn’t have to win this game for Haley to lose.