The undercard race for the “Republican” gubernatorial nomination in South Carolina jumped to a higher energy level (again) this week when Lowcountry labor attorney Catherine Templeton fired off a new campaign commercial targeting Upstate businessman John Warren.
The 30-second spot – entitled “Not Who He Says He Is” – is part of a six-figure, statewide advertising buy that began on Tuesday morning, one week before GOP voters go to the polls for what is likely to be the first round of gubernatorial primary voting.
Surveys show Warren and Templeton in a dogfight for second place in the five-way “Republican” primary – trailing incumbent governor Henry McMaster.
If McMaster can’t eclipse the fifty percent mark on June 12, he would have to face either Warren or Templeton in a runoff election on June 26. Given his glaring vulnerabilities, that is a head-to-head contest he is unlikely to survive – no matter who he is running against.
Several recent polls we have been shown have Warren edging ahead of Templeton, no doubt as a result of his campaign’s recent broadsides against her.
Now Templeton is firing back, suggesting in her new ad that Warren is “not 100 percent pro-life” and is “open to stronger gun control laws.”
Here’s the spot …
(Click to view)
More ominously, the ad includes a reference to Warren being “bankrolled by a liberal super PAC boss” – and boasting of being able to raise “unlimited funds from New York.”
Obviously that’s a reference to his financial business, not his gubernatorial campaign … but Templeton’s ad doesn’t make that clear. Perhaps deliberately.
“Please call out the Templeton campaign for their misleading and unethical ad against Warren,” one supporter of the Greenville businessman told us. “Warren was talking about raising capital for his BUSINESS.”
“Isn’t his business subsidizing his gubernatorial campaign?” one Templeton donor fired back.
Touché …[timed-content-server show=’2018-Jan-17 00:00:00′ hide=’2018-Jun-18 00:00:00′]
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The “liberal super PAC boss” referred to in Templeton’s new ad is Frank Schuler, head of a left-leaning Washington, D.C.-based political action committee.
According to the Templeton campaign, “Schuler is president of the Partnership for Conservation and treasurer of the Partnership for Conservation PAC. That PAC has a history of financing Democrat candidates including Senators Diane Feinstein, Debbie Stabenow and Tammy Baldwin. The PAC also provided significant contributions to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.”
We’ve been provided with some additional info on Schuler, which we are currently in the process of vetting.
“John Warren has some serious questions to answer,” said Templeton campaign manager R.J. May III. “He isn’t who he says he is.”
Warren’s campaign responded to Templeton’s ad by releasing a new poling memo that showed him overtaking her in the race. As noted above, that is consistent with internal polling we’ve seen. According to the memo, McMaster is the choice of 33 percent of GOP primary voters – leading Warren (19 percent), Templeton (17 percent), lieutenant governor Kevin Bryant (5 percent) and former lieutenant governor Yancey McGill (2 percent).
Of interest? The Warren survey showed a whopping 24 percent of GOP voters as being undecided – again, with only a week left to go before the first round of balloting.
Here is that memo …
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(Via: Warren for Governor)
“Political outsider John Warren has surged to second place and Catherine Templeton’s campaign is collapsing, so it comes as no surprise that she and fellow Columbia insider Henry McMaster are launching false, last-minute attacks,” his spokeswoman Laura Beth Kirsop said. “John Warren is building a movement of conservatives across South Carolina, while Catherine’s charade has failed. Templeton voted for pro-abortion, anti-gun Democrats like Vince Sheheen over Nikki Haley, she doesn’t vote in Republican primaries, and she bankrolls liberal Democrats for statewide office – that is not conservative.”
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