Lowcountry labor attorney Catherine Templeton is the candidate who fired a snub-nosed .38 caliber revolver in one of her political ads, but Upstate businessman John Warren is the candidate currently taking aim … at Templeton.
According to our sources, Warren is preparing to unload on his GOP rival as the two of them battle for one of two spots in a likely “Republican” gubernatorial runoff election on June 26. Incumbent governor Henry McMaster – whose campaign has been in a free-fall over the last few weeks – seems to be locked into one of these two spots in despite his bad habit of ghosting candidate forums.
That leaves Warren and Templeton to battle it out for second place … i.e. the opportunity go head-to-head against an increasingly vulnerable incumbent.
In South Carolina primaries featuring three or more candidates, if no one receives a majority of the votes on the first ballot the top two finishers battle it out two weeks later – tête-à-tête.
The first round of voting is June 12 – less than two weeks away. The runoff election – all but a certainty at this point – would be held on June 26.
Given McMaster’s flagging fortunes, it would certainly seem whichever one of his GOP rivals winds up in the runoff against him will have the inside track when it comes to winning the party’s nomination – which in recent years has been an all-but-guaranteed ticket to the governor’s mansion.
Warren appears to be leaving no stone unturned in his bid to be that candidate …
According to multiple sources familiar with his plans, Warren is planning to shift his focus toward Templeton over the last two weeks of the race – including the possibility of television spots calling out his rival for her “convenient conservatism.”
(Click to view)
Previously, Warren was training his fire on McMaster, but as the outlines of the race have grown clearer the closer we get to election day, well – plans change.
Specifically, a search is reportedly underway for an audio recording of a speech Templeton gave on March 12, 2015 at the Blue Marlin restaurant in downtown Columbia, S.C.
During this speech – and there is some debate as to the exact verbiage used – Templeton is alleged to have either referred to herself as “socially liberal” or “socially moderate.”
Would either of those things be a big deal to us? Not at all, we’re libertarians. We actually prefer candidates who aren’t sanctimonious moralizers.
Take care of our tax dollars and protect our liberties … and we will get along just fine. You can be as socially liberal as you want.
Still, such a reference – along with Templeton’s previous voting history – could become an issue for many GOP primary voters. And in a tight race, every vote counts.[timed-content-server show=’2018-Jan-17 00:00:00′ hide=’2018-Jun-18 00:00:00′]
SPONSORED CONTENT – ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW
“We know it happened,” a source familiar with the remark told us. “We have multiple eye witnesses who were in the room.”
The source added that Templeton offered the comment “in front of a large group of people,” a gathering said to have included current U.S. ambassador to Switzerland, Ed McMullen.
McMullen reportedly chided Templeton for uttering the remark, telling her “never ever say liberal, only call yourself a moderate no matter what (you) think.”
Efforts to reach the ambassador for comment at his official residence in Bern, Switzerland were not immediately successful.
Our guess? McMullen isn’t going to wade into this drama … which means it will boil down to a tale of the tape (assuming one exists).
Also, while we’ve been informed of Warren’s plans to begin opening fire on Templeton … it’s worth noting this particular “hit” may have nothing to do with his campaign. Remember, McMaster has been waging an air war against Templeton for several weeks now (albeit clumsily) – believing her to be his biggest threat.
Could the incumbent be trying to finish her off in the primary in the hopes of turning his attention to Warren in a runoff?
Stay tuned … we will keep an eye on all of these chess moves as the “Republican” governor’s race approaches its initial crescendo.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our stories? Please feel free to submit your own guest column or letter to the editor via-email HERE. Got a tip for us? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE. Want to support what we’re doing? SUBSCRIBE HERE.
Banner: John Warren for Governor