Greenville businessman John Warren is getting a major boost in his quest to unseat Gov. Henry McMaster in the Republican campaign for governor.
Warren's campaign tells The Associated Press he's getting endorsements Thursday from Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant and former public health chief Catherine Templeton.
“I am honored to have the support of Catherine Templeton and Kevin Bryant,” said Warren. “We are continuing to build the conservative movement every day to take on the status quo and root out corruption.”
Though McMaster led Tuesday's GOP primary, he only managed to secure 42 percent of the vote. Warren, Templeton, and Bryant received a combined 56 percent. Warren finished second and the endorsement of his former rivals could be enough to push him over the top.
“I am proud to stand with John Warren and endorse his candidacy,” said Kevin Bryant. “John is the conservative leader South Carolina needs.”
In a statement released Thursday, Templeton made her decision clear. She said:
As I have said over and over - we need an outsider with business experience who can’t be bought.
Yesterday, I listened to both candidates running for the Republican nomination. Both asked for my endorsement and I legitimately listened. I invested 2 years of my life and all of my relationships in this journey and I don’t want to leave the future of South Carolina to chance.
John Warren very respectfully traveled to Charleston and allowed me all the time I wanted to ask all the hard questions. I did. Then, I asked him some more. We agreed, disagreed, and even laughed together, but I saw in him earnest passion for what is right.
John Warren will build a team of experts to help him drain the swamp and I am proud to trust my money and my children with him as our next Governor.
John is the future, not the status quo. We need a bold new generation of leadership that is in this to serve the people of South Carolina, not the good old boys.
If you want a Governor as bold and conservative as the people of South Carolina, your choice is very easy.
There is one more thing to do.... you have to show up June 26th and vote for John Warren. It will be a dog fight between the status quo and fresh leadership. Let’s finish this!
McMaster and Warren will debate next week in Newberry and face voters in a June 26 runoff. The winner will face Democratic Rep. James Smith and American Party candidate Martin Barry in November.
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