Charleston real estate developer Pat McKinney has decided to withdraw from the Republican lieutenant governor’s race, according to his campaign staff.
The news was first reported by Charleston TV station WCSC on Thursday.
McKinney was in second place pending a recount on Friday, but was 20 percentage points behind frontrunner Henry McMaster’s 44 percent of the vote.
“This was a one hundred percent personal decision, not a political decision,” his campaign manager Taylor Hall told South Carolina Radio Network. “About eight weeks ago, Pat lost his father. And about three weeks ago (his wife) Pam lost her father. So it’s been a challenging time for the family.”
The move leaves Columbia investment manager Mike Campbell as the only remaining candidate still challenging McMaster. Campbell was also 20 percentage points behind the frontrunner and trailed McKinney by a little over 1,200 votes. The two will face off again in a June 24 runoff.
Hall said, despite the family’s loss, McKinney still intended to stay in the race had the margin been closer.
“Pat gave the campaign everything that he had,” he added. “He spent a lot of time, energy, and effort and worked very hard on the campaign.”