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Nikki Haley House Race Endorsement Raises Questions

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MORE “PAY TO PLAY?”

S.C. governor Nikki Haley came to Summerville, S.C. earlier this week to endorse Dorchester county councilwoman Carroll Duncan in the latter’s bid to represent S.C. House district 94 (map here).

We know this because the local paper – The Summerville Journal-Scene – made a big deal about Haley’s endorsement in its recent editions.

“The people in Summerville can count on Carroll Duncan to fight for them in Columbia,” Haley told the paper.  “She is a true advocate for South Carolina.”

Haley went on to describe Duncan as a “pro-growth, conservative reformer” – one who would help her “build on the momentum” of the last six years.

Hold up … what?  There’s “momentum” in South Carolina?

We must have missed that …

As for Haley’s definition of reform … well.

Anyway, what Haley and Duncan failed to mention in rolling out this big endorsement – and what the scribes at the Journal-Scene neglected to report – is that Duncan is the mother-in-law of one of Haley’s biggest donors and most loyal political allies, Chad Walldorf.

Walldorf and his wife Jena Walldorf (Duncan’s daughter) have donated thousands of dollars to Haley’s campaign.  He’s also been affiliated with third party groups that have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars furthering the governor’s political ambitions.  Not only that, he has been at the heart of several scandals owing to his undying allegiance to Haley.

To be clear: We’re not saying Walldorf’s mom is any better or worse than Katie Arrington (website) – the political newcomer who is also running for this seat.  Our guess is either one of them would be more fiscally conservative than S.C. Rep. Jenny Horne – who is stepping down to challenge U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford this spring.

We’re just saying that Haley’s endorsement is pretty clearly the “quo” to Walldorf’s “quid.”

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