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#SC2018: John Warren Announces Pat McKinney As His Running Mate

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South Carolina gubernatorial candidate John Warren has tapped former lieutenant gubernatorial candidate and Lowcountry developer Pat McKinney as his running mate in the 2018 “Republican” primary election.

“I am proud to announce that Charleston businessman Pat McKinney will join our ticket as lieutenant governor,” Warren said in making the announcement.  “Pat has more than 40 years of business experience, and he is a man of character and integrity. I am honored to have him on board.”

Here is Warren’s video announcement of his selection …

(Click to view)

(Via: John Warren for Governor)

Warren’s selection of McKinney comes one week after Lowcountry labor attorney Catherine Templeton announced her selection of S.C. thirteenth circuit solicitor Walt Wilkins as her running mate.

Incumbent “Republican” governor Henry McMaster named his running mate – Upstate businesswoman Pamela Evette – back in November.

As we’ve noted previously, all of these choices are aspirational … meaning they won’t matter unless Warren, Templeton or McMaster win their party’s nomination.

The choices can move voters, though, especially if they help a ticket achieve geographic balance.

Will McKinney move voters for Warren?

Once viewed as the heir apparent to former governor Nikki Haley, McKinney was defeated in the 2014 GOP primary for lieutenant governor by McMaster.  In fact, McKinney dropped out of the race even though he qualified for a “Republican” runoff election against McMaster.

That race was exceedingly contentious, as our loyal readers will recall.

Since then, McKinney has sparred repeatedly with McMaster’s allies on the board of the S.C. Ports Authority (SCPA).  In fact he was in the middle of a major spat involving Templeton, who briefly worked at the agency.  McKinney left the SCPA board when McMaster appointed his own candidates last spring.

Templeton’s campaign was less-than-impressed with Warren’s selection.

“Another politician who didn’t have the backbone to stand up to the establishment when the going got tough,” said Templeton campaign manager R.J. May III. “Voters should be reminded that when Mr. McKinney had the opportunity to take on McMaster and the corrupt good old boys directly in a GOP runoff in 2014, he dropped out ­- leaving conservatives holding the bag and gifting the Lieutenant Governor’s Office to McMaster and his corrupt cronies.”

May’s rebuke didn’t go unnoticed.

“That’s a shameful personal attack and a low blow,” said Barney Keller, newly minted spokesperson for the Warren campaign.  “Pat withdrew from the race because his father and father-in-law died within weeks of Election Day.  Pat put his grieving family first – unlike Catherine Templeton not everyone is consumed with achieving power and moving to Columbia.”

Oy …

Keller wasn’t done …

“Conservatives like John Warren and Pat McKinney voted for Nikki Haley – while Catherine Templeton voted for pro-choice liberal trial lawyer Vincent Sheheen,” he added.  “She owes the McKinney family an apology, and the people of South Carolina one too for running a campaign based on falsehoods and lies.”

Sounds like the 2018 GOP undercard is officially “on,” people …

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