In the latest sign of his reelection campaign’s ongoing disarray, South Carolina governor Henry McMaster’s top campaign staffer abruptly stepped down from her post on Tuesday afternoon.
Katie Baham – McMaster’s 2018 campaign manager – sent an email to Palmetto politicos announcing her decision to “step aside” for the “greater opportunity” of the organization.
Sources close to the McMaster campaign told us they have no idea who will take her place, although McMaster’s daughter Mary Rogers McMaster is reportedly taking an increasingly active role in the management of the organization.
Remember her? Our readers do …
“Can this campaign continue with the status quo and pull out a victory in the Primary and General? Maybe,” Baham wrote in her email. “However, maybe isn’t good enough (emphasis original). And maybe isn’t what is best for the Governor and (lieutenant gubernatorial candidate) Pam (Evette), and maybe certainly isn’t in the best interests of our future.”
Baham added that “we have to strive towards greatness in order to ensure that our future isn’t left to chance – as a team that is willing to make sacrifices for a greater good, charged with effectively communicating and implementing all that is in the best interests of the Governor and his message of strengthening prosperity for each and every South Carolinian.”
According to Baham, “what is in the best interest of that mission is for significant changes to be made, and that means me stepping aside, allowing for greater opportunity for the campaign.”
Prior to serving on McMaster’s campaign, Baham was the state director for U.S. Senator Marco Rubio’s “First in the South” presidential bid. She also worked as political director for the S.C. “Republican” Party and the S.C. House “Republican” Caucus.
Baham’s resignation comes just days after the McMaster campaign posted another underwhelming fundraising quarter. It also comes as the campaign’s top strategist Tim Pearson went off in a Twitter rant against the incumbent governor’s top GOP challenger, Lowcountry labor attorney Catherine Templeton.
Several of McMaster’s donors told us they were disappointed to learn Baham had stepped down.
“It should have been Pearson,” one told us.
McMaster was considered a lock to be reelected governor in 2018 (and beyond) after the office was gift-wrapped for him last January by U.S. president Donald Trump.
Things haven’t worked out that way, though …
McMaster has struggled on multiple fronts – on the campaign trail and in his role as chief executive. He’s also been badly damaged by his proximity to an ongoing anti-corruption investigation that has brought down the empire of his longtime political Svengali, Richard Quinn.
He still enjoys a huge lead in the polls, although that advantage is driven by the fact McMaster is the only candidate most GOP primary voters have heard of at this stage of the race.
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