Two Republican candidates who did not make the Primary runoff for South Carolina governor are endorsing Upstate businessman John Warren.
Warren faces Governor Henry McMaster in the Republican runoff on June 26.
Lieutenant Governor Kevin Bryant and Catherine Templeton flanked Warren as he announced their support Thursday.
“What we’re seeing right now is a unification of the conservative party,” Warren said. “The conservative part of the Republican party. We’ve had tough battles over the last several months in the campaign but we are unified and we all agree that Governor McMaster is not the right person to lead our state.”
McMaster earned 42 percent of the vote. Warren received 27 percent. A candidate needs a majority of 50 percent plus one to avoid a runoff.
When asked about the attack ads from Templeton’s campaign prior to the Primary, Warren said that’s behind him.
“I think during the campaign we were all fighting for our state and that’s in the past,” he said. “I think it was less animosity and more passion for us wanting to get our views and have and have an opportunity to make the runoff and run against Governor McMaster.
Templeton said she met with Warren for several hours Wednesday before making her decision. She said her campaign found no skeletons in Warren’s closet.
“We had a campaign that looked into John Warren. That’s what you do in politics,” she said. “And I’m telling you right now, this gentleman is honorable. This gentleman has served our country.”
“As you’ve heard me say many times, I’m a conservative activist,” Bryant said. “And today I’m extremely excited to campaign for my good friend John Warren.”
“We are the new conservative movement for South Carolina and we’re excited to enact real conservative reforms when I’m governor,” Warren said.
The winner of the Republican runoff faces Democrat James Smith in the general election in November.