While GOP gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley is being featured in national media, Democratic nominee Vincent Sheheen continues to battle for votes by appearing in weekend parades and talking to local media outlets. Latest polling shows Haley well in the lead among likely voters in the state, but the Sheheen campaign says he has something new to offer South Carolinians than the Sanford-style of governing that they say would continue with Haley.
Last week’s Newsweek magazine said about Haley, “If she wins in November, becoming the state’s first female and first nonwhite governor, she’ll likely rocket to national prominence and secure a spot in the GOP firmament.”
Sheheen is talking less about firmaments and more about gaining terra firma as he travels the rural areas of South Carolina. About the attention given to Haley, he says:
We’ve seen politicians in South Carolina get a lot of national press before, most notably Mark Sanford, and that did not work out so well for us. I think that if you’re running for state office, you’re really, as least I really want to concentrate on South Carolina. So, I have spent my time touring the state, and talking to local media, local people. I think in the end, that’s what South Carolinians really want.
After Mark Sanford was elected governor, he was often mentioned in national media as a potential presidential candidate. Then he gained negative national attention for marital infidelity and ethics fines for personal travel using state resources. Haley has distanced herself from Sanford’s misdeeds, but sticks to his fiscal philosophy of cutting back on how far government should reach and how much it should spend.
The Newsweek article, while it features Haley, also features critical observations of her style. The same article also praises Sheheen:
Her opponent, state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, is regarded as one of the strongest candidates Democrats have put forth in years. A solid fundraiser with strong ties to the business community, he may prove to be a formidable challenger (though the latest polling shows him trailing Haley by double digits). His campaign has quickly unfurled its central line of attack: vote for Haley, and get four more years of Sanford (someone whom South Carolinians are eager to show the door, given the national ridicule he’s invited).
Sheheen says he continues to strengthen ties to the business community. He says, “That includes former Commerce Secretary Bob Royal in Charleston ..and also the support of the State Chamber of Commerce and Otis Rawl, who is the CEO of the State Chamber.”