The gloves came off at some points in Tuesday night’s debate among the five candidates hoping to be elected governor next month.
Incumbent Republican Gov. Nikki Haley found herself fending off verbal attacks from her challengers as questions moved away from what her campaign considers her strongest issue — the economy — and instead towards education, domestic violence, and Medicaid funding. The event at Furman University near Greenville was the last debate in the governor’s race before voters head to the polls in two weeks.
The debate also had a heightened intensity for the governor’s opponents, as a recent Charleston Post & Courier poll found Haley holds a 20-point lead over Democratic State Sen. Vincent Sheheen in the polls (51% to 31%). Independent petition candidate Tom Ervin was third in the survey with 11 percent support, while Libertarian nominee Steve French and the United Citizens Party’s Morgan Bruce Reeves were within the margin of error. Haley defeated Sheheen with 51 percent of the vote to 47 percent in the 2010 election. [Read more...]