Six Democrats and five Republicans are vowing for Governor Mark Sanford’s seat. Last night, the Republican candidates for the 2010 gubernatorial race had their first debate. One of the “unofficial” candidates, Lt. Governor Andre Bauer, was there. Bauer, a Republican, says although last night’s debate was for the GOP, the Democrats seem to be expectant.
“When is the last time the Democrats in South Carolina manage to get six candidates to run for one office? Never! Now you got six candidates, historically the Democrats usually find one candidate, maybe a secondary candidate for governor. Now, you got six, high profile candidates by the way, six office holders, because they think they have a real opportunity to win,” says Bauer.
In late August, Bauer called for Governor Sanford to resign, saying it was apparent the governor could not focus on the state’s major issues due to constant discussion of the governor’s personal issues. Bauer said he would not run for governor in 2010 if Sanford resign, and he took his seat. However, that did not happen.
“I made a proposal, the proposal wasn’t adopted, and so we move forward. That’s part of being leader, you throw out ideas, and the ideas can be embedded, if people agree with them, you do that, if not, you move forward. My idea wasn’t taken up, so I’m gonna keep moving forward with my plans and you move on,” says Bauer.
If the governor continues to remain in office, Bauer does plan on announcing his gubernatorial bid by the end of October.
“I’m the only one that’s not an announced candidate. I actually have not announced for governor. I’ve been doing my current job. At some point in time, like I said, I’ll probably announce the later part of October. Nonetheless, my big thing is going to be economic development,” says Bauer.
Bauer says the people of South Carolina want answers, and that’s what the debate was all about.
“What have they done in the past, in the current office they have, how have they changed it dynamically? What have they done to differentiate themselves as a leader? And, what can they really do, creatively, to become a better leader for South Carolina. What will they do to change where we are right now with 12 percent unemployment? And that’s where the real difference is,” says Bauer.
Bauer says the unfortunate part of the debates is that each candidate only has a minute and a half to answer, which usually doesn’t not give enough time for people to differentiate between candidates.