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#SC2018: The Money Race

Heading toward the homestretch …

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South Carolina gubernatorial hopeful Catherine Templeton continued her success on the fundraising trail during the fourth quarter of 2017, raising a grand total of $721,000 between October 1 and December 31 of last year.

Templeton’s campaign ended the year with a whopping $2.3 million on hand – a fantastic number for a first-time candidate running (especially one running against an incumbent with more than four decades worth of favors to call in).

“We are thrilled that the people of South Carolina continue to support Catherine,” a statement from her campaign noted, calling the impressive figure further proof that the state’s voters want a “conservative outsider looking out for our future.” 

As of this writing, “Republican” governor Henry McMaster hadn’t reported his fourth quarter totals – but he is widely expected to have cleared the $1.5 million mark for the reporting period thanks to an October fundraiser with U.S. president Donald Trump.

The Trump event alone was supposed to have raised $1.5 million, although it’s not immediately clear how much of that money is earmarked for McMaster’s current race.  It’s also not immediately clear how much money McMaster’s campaign had to shell out in order to host Trump at the event.

However the numbers break down, McMaster’s cash on hand is expected to eclipse the $3 million mark as the #SC2018 race heads into its final five-and-a-half month stretch.

That would put him well ahead of Templeton, but nowhere near as far ahead as most Palmetto politicos expected him to be at this stage of the race.

According to Templeton backers, the incumbent has hit his high-water mark in terms of money raised.

“We are steady statewide and he has called in all of his favors,” one of Templeton’s top supporters told us.

Like McMaster, S.C. lieutenant governor Kevin Bryant and former lieutenant governor Yancey McGill have yet to post their fourth quarter totals.  Both candidates were well behind the two frontrunners in money raised and cash on hand at the end of the third quarter last year, although Bryant’s campaign recently received a boost with a better-than-expected second place showing in a credible statewide poll.

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