In an email to his supporters, State Sen. Vincent Sheheen (D-Kershaw) made it official— he plans to run for governor a second time in 2014.
Sheheen lost to then-Rep. Nikki Haley in 2010 after picking 47 percent of the vote to the Republican’s 51 percent. It was well-known in Columbia that Sheheen wanted to try again, as the margin was comparatively thin and polls show Haley’s popularity has dropped since her election.
“For South Carolina to succeed, we have to change. And we need change now!” Sheheen wrote in his email, “That’s why today I’m taking steps to launch a campaign for governor. Our state deserves better than the failed and dysfunctional government it has received from our current politicians. Now, we need leaders.”
Sheheen has represented Kershaw County in the South Carolina Senate since 2003. He also spent two years in the House before that. He is an attorney in his private life.
He is the first Democrat to formally announce his intention to run for the Governor’s Office. Haley has not even officially announced her intent to run again, although she has begun putting her campaign organization into place.
While Wednesday’s announcement made it official, Sheheen has long been laying the groundwork for a second run. He made several stops in a statewide tour for his new book earlier this year. He also attended the Democratic Governor’s Association meeting last year.