One of the hottest rumors over the past few months was that independently wealthy Columbia, South Carolina businessman (and former S.C. secretary of commerce) Joe Taylor was planning to jump into the 2018 “Republican” gubernatorial primary.
Taylor’s entry into the race would have been significant given his ability to self-fund and his deep connections within the Palmetto State’s business community.
He’s not running, though … in fact, he’s jumping on board with one of the four announced GOP candidates for this seat.
Which one? Catherine Templeton.
Taylor and his wife, Amanda Taylor, are among several prominent Columbia, S.C.-area donors listed as sponsors on a fundraising invitation obtained by this news site.
Take a look …
(Click to view)
That’s an impressive list of donors … especially seeing as this event is taking place in the backyard of Templeton’s top rival for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, incumbent “Republican” governor Henry McMaster.
But Taylor’s name is especially significant given the prior rumblings about him launching his own bid for governor. And given his network of big money donors.
Templeton’s ability to raise campaign funds in the early stages of this race put her on the map – and fundamentally altered the calculus of the election. It has also made her a target of McMaster’s campaign (and of Democrats who are leery of facing her in a 2018 general election).
Can she continue her fundraising momentum during the third quarter of 2017?
We’ll know soon enough (filings for the third quarter are due to the State Ethics Commission on October 10), but the addition of Taylor to her team is clearly a big deal in more ways than one …
In addition to Templeton and McMaster, socially conservative lieutenant governor Kevin Bryant of Anderson, S.C. and former lieutenant governor Yancey McGill of Kingstree, S.C. are both seeking the GOP nomination.
On the Democratic side former House minority leader James Smith has made it clear he is likely going to run, while State Senators John Scott and Gerald Malloy are considering joining the field. State representative Justin Bamberg is also reportedly interested in launching a campaign as well.
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