What kind of governor are we getting with Henry McMaster? - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

What kind of governor are we getting with Henry McMaster?

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Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster (Source: WIS) Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster (Source: WIS)

As we know, President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Gov. Nikki Haley to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

RELATED: See others being considered for cabinet positions in the Trump administration.

While it could be several months before the Senate acts on her confirmation, Haley's move to that job opens the way for a new governor. So what kind of chief executive will Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster be?

We've seen the man now holding the lieutenant governor's office in a range of capacities over the last three decades.

It was first as U.S. Attorney and his supervision over the massive drug trafficking case known as Operation Jackpot. Later, McMaster worked on the Commission on Higher Education and ran the state Republican Party as chairman for nine years.

Then, he served two terms as South Carolina's Attorney General, along the way beating Democrat Steve Benjamin in 2002. His first bid to become governor happened in 2010, which imploded with the rise of a then-relatively unknown state representative named Haley. 

McMaster built a reputation as a leader who aimed for agreement, so says political consultant Joel Sawyer.

"If you look at his history, he has been very reticent to criticize other Republicans even when he disagrees with them. To the degree that he does have disagreement with other Republicans, then he's going to do everything he can do to solve those disagreements behind closed doors. You contrast that with Gov. Haley or Gov. [Mark] Sanford where they came up in an environment when some of their biggest fights were with other Republicans and they were not shy about making those fights public if they felt like they needed to," Sawyer said. "I think the other thing about Henry McMaster is that he has a reputation as a consensus builder."

Sawyer says McMaster is a fiscal conservative, but will try to work out any differences with lawmakers without a public showdown. Sawyer says one similarity South Carolinians will see between McMaster and Haley is that both of them are cheerleaders for the state.

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