A Democratic legislator has opened a gubernatorial campaign account, possibly setting himself up as the party’s first candidate to run for governor next year.
According to The State newspaper, State Rep. James Smith, D-Columbia, filed a new campaign account with the state Ethics Commission. His only initial reported contribution was $500, which came from himself.
As of yet, no Democrat has officially has announced plans to run next year. The party has not won the governor’s race since Jim Hodges was elected in 1998.
Smith, a Columbia attorney, has represented the neighborhoods around downtown Columbia in the state House of Representatives since 1997. He also serves as a captain in the South Carolina National Guard.
Four Republicans are in the race as of now: Gov. Henry McMaster, Charleston lawyer Catherine Templeton, Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant of Anderson and former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill of Williamsburg.