SPECIAL ELECTION LOOMING FOR UPSTATE SEAT …
As we reported earlier this week, S.C. governor Nikki Haley is expected to be confirmed this week as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Once that happens she will resign her office here in the Palmetto State, making lieutenant governor Henry McMaster South Carolina’s 117th governor.
That much everybody knows … and has known for weeks. Hell, McMaster is already bragging about his upcoming ten-year reign as the next governor.
What’s been less certain is who would take McMaster’s job, although a recent S.C. Supreme Court ruling seems to have settled that question. In light of this ruling, odds are that S.C. Senator Kevin Bryant will ultimately “ascend” to this part-time, largely ceremonial post.
Why Bryant? Well, no one else really wants the job. In fact the man who is constitutionally in line to become the next lieutenant governor – powerful S.C. Senate president Hugh Leatherman – has made it abundantly clear he is not taking the office under any circumstances.
Anyway, in the event Bryant does wind up becoming lieutenant governor this week his S.C. Senate seat (map) would become vacant – prompting a special election. So far, two candidates have been making noise about running in this race – socially conservative businessman Richard Cash and former Pendleton, S.C. mayor Carol Burdette.
Cash mounted an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Congress several years ago, but has maintained a devoted network of grassroots evangelicals due to his ongoing advocacy on behalf of personhood legislation.
Burdette – a fiscally liberal, big government Republican – ran against Bryant in last spring’s 2016 GOP primary election, narrowly missing out on what would have been a huge upset victory over the three-term incumbent. She is viewed by many in the area as the frontrunner for this soon-to-be vacant seat – which we view as extremely unfortunate given her decidedly left-leaning ideological orientation.
We will keep our ears to the ground as other prospective candidates begin the process of considering a run for this seat, and obviously we look forward to offering our thoughts on the field once it becomes set.
Our hope? That a pro-freedom, pro-free market candidate emerges to replace Bryant – who has generally been a solid vote on both of those fronts.
(Banner via Travis Bell Photography)