Originally Lt. Governor Andre Bauer said a few weeks ago that he would not announce a run for governor if Governor Mark Sanford would resign or if the General Assembly would impeach him. At that point Bauer said he would give the governor or state lawmakers one month.
But Bauer says that he is extending that deadline to two months. “I’ll honor my committment. But at some point in time, I can’t let it go on. I’ve got people who want me to get engaged in the process and want me to go foward with my plans. I can’t continue to put those off forever. So the end of October, I will announce for Governor.”
If Sanford resigns or is impeached, Bauer would become Governor automatically, but only for the months left in Sanford’s term, which would be just over one year. That could give Bauer an advantage in the race for the next term of office. Bauer said that by making the offer not to run, he is freeing up lawmakers who would not support his run to call for Sanford’s resignation, or possible impeachment.
Bauer says it’s time for a change. “The pressure is mounting. People realize that for more than two months now South Carolina has continued to stay in the international news, not in a favorable light. We have double-digit unemployment and have to move foward. We hoped at first that this would pass quickly and that Governor would be able to get back to work but more and more continues to come up.”
Bauer says two months is long enough. “I can’t ask people to donate money to my campaigh and volunteer and get involved. I think that two months is more than appropriate time.”
Meanwhile, Bauer says he is continuing his attempts to increase employment figures. He said that he has visited six state Employment Security Offices around the state over the last 30 days.
Bauer says he as no idea when the governor will resign, or if he will. “I don’t know. It seems to me he’s pretty dug in. He’s a fighter. And I actually appreciate his tenacity. But throughout his political career he has talked about a bigger goal, a larger reason to serve in public office. But I think he’s going to have a hard time accomplishing his goals.”
And Bauer says the governor has been placed more and more in a defensive mode. “I can tell you that all of us go through challenges in life. The people of South Carolina gave me a chance to come back after speeding. So I gave him the benefit of the doubt. And I hoped that’s what would happen. But we continue to see more and more exposed. And we’re in a constant drip-drip situation.”
Bauer became the focus of much media attention during his first year as Lt. Governor after he got a speeding ticket while on his way to preside over the Senate.