Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant, R-Anderson, can continue raising money for a race that no longer exists, The State newspaper reports. The permission comes according to South Carolina’s state Ethics Commission.
According to the newspaper, the Republican has taken in more than $100,000 since January toward a full term next year.
2018 will mark the first time voters will no longer separately elect the next governor and lieutenant governor, following a 2012 constitutional amendment. Next year, each party’s gubernatorial candidate will choose a running mates rather than separate independent campaigns, as in the past.
Bryant can legally raise money for the job even with the constitutional change. Ethics Commission director Steve Hamm told the newspaper that, under state law, Bryant can legally continue to raise campaign funds. His efforts have led to speculation that he is hoping to eventually enter the race for governor next year.
Bryant a former state senator volunteered to become lieutenant governor after Nikki Haley was confirmed as United Nations ambassador and Lt Gov. Henry McMaster became governor. He agreed to briefly take over the post of Senate President pro tempore, which state law dictates is the next in-line for a vacant lieutenant governor’s post.
Bryant’s fundraising includes about $60,000 he transferred from his state Senate campaign account.