Gov. Henry McMaster and his running mate Pamela Evette accompanied South Carolina Republican Party Chair Drew McKissick as he presented the party’s certified candidates to the State Election Commission on Wednesday.
This year marks the first election in which the governor and lieutenant run on the same ticket.
“We’ve just certified our entire statewide Republican ticket and we’ll be getting ready to kick off our statewide victory effort now,” McKissick said. “Which is an integrated campaign working to elect everybody from the statewide constitutional officers down to the county-council level.”
“This is a historic day in South Carolina,” McMaster said. “This discussion of having the governor and lieutenant governor run as a team has been a goal of the political parties as well as the citizens for a long time.”
He noted there have been several instances where South Carolina’s governor and lieutenant governor were from separate parties, most recently when Republican Gov. Nikki Haley spent the final six months of 2014 with a Democratic lieutenant governor Yancey McGill (although he later switched to the GOP during a gubernatorial campaign this year).
“Not only will we have two Republicans governor and lieutenant governor working together, but they’ll actually run as a team and we intend to work as a team — a full team for the people of South Carolina,” McMaster said.
Voters in 2012 approved a state constitutional amendment to allow for the joint campaign after more than a century of electing the offices separately. Legislators finalized the certification rules earlier this year, also ending the lieutenant governor’s traditional role of presiding over the Senate.
If McMaster wins, Evette will be South Carolina’s first female Republican lieutenant governor. Democrat Nancy Stevenson served in the post from 1979-1983.
State Rep. James Smith, D-Columbia, is the Democratic nominee for governor. He has chosen fellow State Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell, D-Lancaster, as his running mate.