McMaster’s decision – exclusively reported by this news site – isn’t the only looming “lite gov” choice, though. The state’s current lieutenant governor – who is running against McMaster in next spring’s “Republican” primary election – is reportedly reaching out to prospective running mates, too.
According to our sources, Shealy is giving “due consideration” to Bryant’s office – although we’re told she is very happy with her current position in the State Senate and unlikely to commit to a job that would require her to give up her seat.
Shealy – a hard-charging, no-nonsense reformer – would be a huge boost to Bryant’s candidacy were she to accept his offer. After winning office as a petition candidate in 2012, she has charted a fiercely independent path for herself in the Senate – drawing praise and criticism from points all along the Palmetto political spectrum.
We haven’t agreed with every vote she’s cast, but Shealy has been aggressive in taking on several of the most dysfunctional agencies in McMaster’s cabinet – and would be a compelling voice for reform on the campaign trail.
The Lexington County lawmaker would also provide Bryant with a network of support in the Midlands region of the state, helping him achieve both gender and geographical balance.
“She’s the perfect pick for him – I just don’t think she’s going to do it,” one Lexington County GOP politico told us, although they acknowledged they had no direct knowledge of Shealy’s plans.
Stay tuned … in the event we hear more on Bryant’s search for a running mate, we’ll be sure to pass it along.
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