State Republicans turned toward November on Wednesday, gathering to pledge their support a day after settling a rough-and-tumble gubernatorial primary.
But with the nomination of state Rep. Nikki Haley, a protégé of Gov. Mark Sanford, the question is will moderate Republicans get on board or abandon ship for Democratic nominee state Sen. Vincent Sheheen?
Standing with the employees of Columbia printing and promotional firm R.L. Bryan Co., Sheheen’s message was not subtle: Business is standing behind him. Robert Royall, who served as commerce secretary for Republican Gov. David Beasley, said he would help raise money for Sheheen. The S.C. Chamber of Commerce endorsed the Democrat in the primary and said Tuesday it would back him this fall.
But Republicans are already closing ranks, and the addition of former gubernatorial rival and Attorney General Henry McMaster to Haley’s campaign is intended to reach out to moderates and independents concerned Haley might continue the acrimony between the Legislature and executive branch begun by Sanford.