A Republican has said he will announce today that he will challenge Lieutenant Governor Glenn McConnell when he seeks re-election next year.
Former Charleston developer Patrick McKinney will make his announcement in Lexington, making public an effort that puts him ahead of both McConnell and Democratic candidate Bakari Sellers in fundraising in the first few months of his candidacy.
McKinney recently retired as one of the top executives with Kiawah Partners, which oversaw the development of its namesake vacation island in Charleston County. In addition to real estate, McKinney also serves on the SC State Ports Authority’s board of directors. He was appointed to the position by Governor Nikki Haley in June 2011. A major campaign contributor, he also served on Gov. Haley’s transition team before she took office.
He has also served on the board at Furman University.
While he lacks McConnell’s name recognition in South Carolina political circles, McKinney has a formidable base of financial support. According to campaign disclosure records on the South Carolina Ethics Commission website, McKinney first filed as a candidate in August. His campaign has since outraised McConnell’s in that time, hauling in nearly $276,000 to McConnell’s nearly $255,000. Democratic candidate State Rep. Bakari Sellers collected $101,000 from donors in that span.
The documents also show McKinney took out a $245,000 campaign loan, giving him a total of almost $517,000 cash on hand.
McConnell has served as lieutenant governor since 2012, when he stepped in to replace disgraced former Lt. Gov. Ken Ard after the latter resigned due to ethics violations. He was president pro tempore in the South Carolina Senate prior to Ard’s resignation. McConnell has since embraced the position, although he has been mentioned as a possible candidate for president of the College of Charleston.