February 9, 2016

Lt. Gov. McConnell: I have not made up my mind on whether to run again

McConnell greeting people

McConnell greets senators after his swearing-in last year.

Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell has some decisions to make. He says he is struggling between completing a list of things he wants to accomplish for the Office on Aging and launching a primary campaign

He is also rumored to be a candidate for president of the College of Charleston, where his experience as the longtime Senate President Pro Tempore and one of the most powerful men in the State House would prove valuable to the state institution in his hometown.

“I do have the possibility of another opportunity but  I would be able to finish this job if I decided to take that opportunity,” McConnell told affiliate WCRS in Greenwood Wednesday.

“Right now, I have not made up my mind.”

McConnell, who has initiated programs and gotten increased state  in his role of head of the state’s Office on Aging said, “My focus right now is on seniors and then would be on re-election unless something else happens.”

But this is not truly a reelection run because McConnell, as President Pro Tem, was first in line for the job when Lt. Gov. Ken Ard stepped down for breaking campaign finance laws. McConnell now faces a primary challenge from Lowcountry real estate developer Pat McKinney, who has outraised him so far. Then, there is a well-known Democratic challenger, Bamberg Rep. Bakari Sellers.

“One of the things that I have done is, very carefully, not announced as a formal candidate, for the reason that in order to get this job done I don’t need to be campaigning yet. That is the hardest thing before me…and if I have to divert a lot of time away from getting this done, that is one of the things I have been struggling with.

“I have moved a little over $250,000 of campaign money into my account to get ready. There are some other opportunities for me, and I’d be less than honest if I didn’t say that.  I don’t know if they would come to pass, so for now, I’m running for reelection,” McConnell said.

Anne Eller of WCRS in Greenwood contributed to this report.

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