The untrusting, arms-length relationship between South Carolina governor Henry McMaster and his lieutenant governor (and 2018 running mate) Pamela Evette took another tumultuous turn this week. According to my sources, there was a major blow up between these two political “frenemies” – who formed an unlikely alliance back in 2018 as McMaster sought (and won) his first, four-year term after being gifted the governor’s office by U.S. president Donald Trump in January 2017.
Since then, though, McMaster has enjoyed something of a resurgence …
And now, it would appear, he is feeling his oats …
Sources familiar with the latest drama told me Tuesday it revolved around a “staffing decision” in Evette’s office – where all employees serve at the pleasure of the governor. However, this news outlet has been unable to independently confirm any details other than it involved McMaster once again putting Evette “in check.”
As previously reported, the political relationship between these two elected officials is an entirely new phenomenon in the Palmetto State …
Prior to 2018, South Carolina elected its governors and lieutenant governors independently – making Evette the first lieutenant governor ever elected as part of a “ticket.” As a result, she is not in charge of her own hiring decisions – as every employee working in her office is technically an employee of the governor.
Evette, a native of Ohio, was the founder and chief executive officer of Quality Business Solutions, a human resources and payroll firm based in Travelers Rest, S.C.
Typically kept on a tight leash (or in a box) by McMaster’s chief of staff Trey Walker (a.k.a. the “shadow governor“), the 53-year-old businesswoman enjoyed a reemergence last year as the governor badly fumbled the Palmetto State’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Now that McMaster is back in the public’s good graces, it would appear Evette is once again expendable …
Why did he choose her?
“The consensus is she was tapped for her money – which she ostensibly delivered on behalf of the McMaster ticket,” I noted in a column last August.
McMaster certainly benefitted from some curious funding sources in his 2018 victory over Upstate businessman John Warren of Greenville, S.C. A political newcomer, Warren nearly defeated McMaster – a career politician – in that race. In fact, the incumbent governor needed a last-minute bailout from Trump to secure his victory.
Of interest? The latest drama between Evette and McMaster comes as Warren is ramping up his political activity in anticipation of a possible rematch against McMaster in next spring’s GOP primary election.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass player and a dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (including the above-pictured Brooklyn Dodgers’ lid commemorating the 1947 major league baseball debut of Jackie Robinson).
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