COLUMBIA, S.C. — Republican Catherine Templeton has kept her monetary momentum going in her pursuit of South Carolina’s top job, posting Monday that her second fundraising haul in the governor’s race is nearly on par with reported totals for the man she’s seeking to unseat.
Templeton, the state’s former labor and public health chief, took in $750,000 in the fundraising period that ended June 30, according to information released over the weekend by her campaign and posted on the State Ethics Commission’s website.
That’s $50,000 more than her $700,000 first quarter total. Her campaign and a top GOP operative said the earlier figure was more than the state’s current and previous two governors raised in that same time period before they ran as incumbents.
Templeton is mounting a primary challenge to Gov. Henry McMaster. As of Monday afternoon, the governor hadn’t posted his fundraising details online, but his campaign said McMaster planned to report raising $800,000 in the second quarter. That’s on top of nearly $1 million he had already acquired in his bid to keep the job he took over earlier this year when Nikki Haley was confirmed as United Nations ambassador.
McMaster’s ascension enabled him to run as an incumbent in what had been anticipated as a wide-open race. The establishment Republican bucked his party’s hierarchy early last year when he became the nation’s first statewide officeholder to back Donald Trump for president.
The move stunned political observers, but McMaster’s support never wavered. It ultimately paid off when Trump nominated Haley, clearing McMaster’s pathway to gain the governor’s office he had long sought.
An anti-union attorney who has never before sought elected office, Templeton served Haley as head of the state’s labor and public health departments. She announced her official entry into the race in April, after McMaster was elevated to governor upon Haley’s confirmation to the U.N.
A third Republican contender, former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill, had about $100,000 on hand when he posted totals last quarter. No Democrats have announced their candidacy.