To hear our sources tell it, the only thing John Warren had that Catherine Templeton wanted was something he had already given away … to Pat McKinney.
Which is why it genuinely shocked us to see Templeton endorse Warren over incumbent “Republican” Henry McMaster earlier this week.
What Templeton wanted, of course, was the job of lieutenant governor of South Carolina … which Warren could very well be in position to award (for real) in the next two weeks.
Wait … McKinney’s selection isn’t a done deal?
Good question …
As we have noted on numerous prior occasions, lieutenant gubernatorial choices are purely “aspirational” at this stage of the race. Which is another way of saying they are subject to change. Selections are not formally set in stone until August – which is when the ballot is formalized for the November elections.
Up until that point, candidates or nominees for governor are well within their right to shift direction and substitute any name they wish in the No. 2 slot.
Clearly Democratic gubernatorial nominee James Smith isn’t backtracking on his choice. State representative Mandy Powers Norrell is a home run for him, a huge boost for a campaign looking to corner the market on centrist voters.
But will Warren reconsider his choice in the event he emerges victorious over McMaster on June 26?
That’s a good question … one may politicos are raising in the aftermath of Templeton’s surprise decision to endorse a candidate she was blasting as recently as last week while they battled for the second and final spot in the winner-take-all GOP runoff.
“She got something and I’m betting that’s what it was,” one GOP operative told us. “And he gets a female from the Lowcountry on his ticket – and the support of the GOP establishment backing her.”[timed-content-server show=’2018-Jan-17 00:00:00′ hide=’2018-Jun-18 00:00:00′]
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To be clear: There is no indication Warren is coming off of McKinney as his running mate.
“Pat McKinney is the pick,” Warren spokesperson Laura Beth Kirsop told us.
Present tense …
Will that change if Warren wins the nomination?
“We are honored to receive Catherine Templeton’s endorsement, but Pat McKinney will be John Warren’s lieutenant governor,” Kirsop said. “We couldn’t be more pleased with his addition to the campaign in the last few weeks and we look forward to his service to our state alongside Governor Warren. Pat is a tremendous asset to the campaign and will be a fantastic lieutenant governor.”
Warren and McMaster face off eleven days from now in a race that many believed was McMaster’s to lose. However the early momentum – notably the endorsement of Templeton and current lieutenant governor Kevin Bryant – appear to be going to the challenger, not the veteran incumbent.
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