South Carolina governor Henry McMaster bailed on a “Republican” gubernatorial debate in Aiken County, South Carolina on Tuesday afternoon. Several hours later, on Tuesday evening, he refused to participate in a televised gubernatorial debate in the Palmetto Upstate sponsored by WYFF TV 4 (NBC – Greenville/ Spartanburg).
Yeah … better fire up those #HidingHenry hashtags …
The first event – sponsored by the Aiken Republican Club – drew appearances from lieutenant governor Kevin Bryant, Lowcountry labor attorney Catherine Templeton, Upstate businessman John Warren and former Democratic lieutenant governor Yancey McGill.
In other words, all of the other candidates in the race …
Why no McMaster?
“No excuse was given, only that the governor was declining our invitation,” said Carl Bottomley, vice president of the Aiken club.
The club made it clear to McMaster that he could change his mind and decide to participate in the event right up to the last moment.
“There will be a place held for Henry on stage, should he decide to attend,” Bottomley told us.
He didn’t …[timed-content-server show=’2018-Jan-17 00:00:00′ hide=’2018-Jun-18 00:00:00′]
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McMaster also skipped out on the debate at WYFF – the Palmetto State’s largest television station.
All four of his opponents attended that debate, as well.
Why is McMaster blowing off these events? Good question … during last week’s SCGOP-sanctioned debate at Clemson University (one of only two primary forums the governor has committed to attend), McMaster actually exceeded expectations.
Of course let’s be honest … that isn’t saying very much.
The 70-year-old incumbent didn’t die, fall over, fall asleep or say something catastrophically stupid.
Which is honestly where the bar was set for him heading into the event …
After being gifted the governor’s mansion by U.S. president Donald Trump last January, McMaster has stumbled, bumbled and fumbled his way into a pitched battle for his very political survival. At this point, it’s all but certain he will fail to eclipse the fifty percent (plus one) threshold necessary for him to avoid a runoff election for the GOP gubernatorial nomination
That means a head-to-head race against one of his challengers on June 26 …
In South Carolina partisan primaries, if no candidate wins a majority of votes on the first ballot – a runoff election between the top two vote-getters is held two weeks later. This is where McMaster is most vulnerable in his bid for reelection.
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