When then-candidate Henry McMaster clinched the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor with a 28 percentage-point win in 2014, reporters at his victory party that night were seemingly more focused on the McMaster family’s English bulldog than they were on the candidate himself.
That’s because “Boots” had been the most adorable member of McMaster’s campaign, panting next to the former attorney general in 30-second commercials as McMaster pledged to be a “watchdog” for South Carolina taxpayers. The candidate jokingly called the bulldog his campaign’s “secret weapon” as he cruised to victory that November.
On his Facebook page Sunday, McMaster posted that “Boots” had died unexpectedly earlier in the day. The governor said his family pet had been undergoing successful lymphatic cancer treatment for several months. “Our hearts are heavy but full of love,” the post said. “Everybody loved Boots. We will miss him greatly.”
Boots moved to the Governor’s Mansion with his family in January when previous Gov. Nikki Haley resigned to become the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.