South Carolina

Challenger Templeton has cash advantage over McMaster heading into SC gov primary

Here are the GOP candidates for SC Governor

Republican candidates for the Governor race debated at Clemson University on May 23.
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Republican candidates for the Governor race debated at Clemson University on May 23.

Days before S.C. voters go to the polls in the primary for governor, challenger Catherine Templeton has an edge over Gov. Henry McMaster in the amount of cash that her campaign has on hand. However, the GOP governor has raised more money overall.

The numbers were disclosed in pre-election filings with the S.C. Ethics Commission.

Templeton had $1,052,762.53 in cash available as of Monday, while McMaster had $769,101.24. Cash on hand is valuable to a candidate looking to unleash a last-minute ad blitz.

McMaster still raised more money in total. The governor reported raising $304,230 since the candidates last reported their fundraising to the Ethics Commission on April 10. Templeton reported raising $243,557.51 since April.

In total, McMaster has raised $4.3 million to try to win a four-year term, while Templeton has raised $3.5 million. McMaster, who was elected lieutenant governor in 2014, became governor in January 2017, when Gov. Nikki Haley resigned to join the Trump administration as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

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Late Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant of Anderson filed a report showing he raised $535,460 since April. He had $42,331.69 remaining in the bank two weeks ahead of the June 12 primary election.

Two other Republicans in the race — former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill of Williamsburg and Greenville businessman John Warren — had not filed their pre-election reports as of Tuesday.

None of the three Democrats in the governor's race — Charleston businessman Phil Noble, state Rep. James Smith of Columbia or Florence attorney Marguerite Willis — had filed their fundraising reports.

The reports were due 15 days before the primary. However, candidates have a five-day grace period to get their reports in.