COLUMBIA – In what has become the most expensive statewide race in SC history, Republican Gov. Henry McMaster holds an advantage of over $ 249,000 over Democrat James Smith at roughly two weeks November 6 elections.
McMaster, who is running for his first full term as governor, raised more than $ 1.66 million between July 1 and October 22.
That compares to more than $ 1.44 million raised by Smith between July 1 and October 16.
The McMaster campaign spent around $ 1.27 million during that time. Combined with over $ 220,000 in cash at the start of the deposit period, McMaster’s was left with $ 611,693 to spend in the final weeks of the campaign.
Smith had $ 362,347 in cash after his campaign spent more than $ 1.2 million during the period. He had $ 127,663 in cash to start the period.
The vast majority of contributions to both campaigns came from inside South Carolina. About 94 percent of Smith’s quarterly total of more than $ 1.4 million came from SC donors. McMaster raised 83 percent of its quarterly total of more than $ 1.6 million in Palmetto State.
Much of Smith’s contributions came from small donors. Its average contribution was around $ 200 from over 4,000 donors. This compares to an average contribution of over $ 1,000 from less than half that number of donors to McMaster, which has received more aid from companies.
The governor received $ 3,500 each from Koch Industries – an oil, gas and manufacturing giant owned by wealthy conservative donors Charles and David Koch – Anheuser Busch and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.
Walmart has also contributed to the McMaster campaign, as well as political action committees related to the Grand Strand golf, food and accommodation interests, the trucking industry, SC Realtors, centers cash advances, to convenience store owners and to Duke Energy.
Smith also received $ 3,500 from South Carolina’s BueCross BlueShield, as well as $ 3,500 from California billionaire Tom Steyer, who launched a campaign to impeach President Donald Trump, a close ally of Republican McMaster.
“To us he’s just a guy investing in good government,” Smith’s campaign said.
Political action committees related to family planning; the SC AFL-CIO, which represents state unions; and SC Equality PAC, an LGBT civil rights group, also contributed to Smith’s campaign.
The governor’s race has become the most expensive in SC history.
More than $ 20 million has been raised so far in the 2018 electoral cycle, including the June primaries, surpassing the previous record set in 2010. The 2010 candidates for governor have raised more than $ 17 million. dollars for their election cycle, when then-Rep. Nikki Haley, R-Lexington, claimed a surprise victory.
So far this year, McMaster has raised over $ 7.3 million and spent over $ 6.7 million in the race for governor. Smith raised nearly $ 2.9 million and spent over $ 2.5 million. Other Democratic and GOP candidates in the June primaries spent millions more.
Smith won the June 12 Democratic primary for governor in a three-way race, while McMaster was dragged into a second round following a bitter five-way GOP primary.
Here’s a look at the biggest contributors to each candidate in primary, secondary, and general election campaigns, based on totals for individuals, companies, and subsidiaries that share the same address.
- $ 151,484 from CEO of Greenville and self-proclaimed “free market capitalist” C. Dan Adams, who pooled contributions using various companies
- $ 100,000 from the SC Republican Party
- $ 98,000 from a commercial real estate company led by Bill Stern, chairman of the SC Ports Authority
- $ 56,000 from a Missouri health care general manager who owns a health maintenance organization operating in South Carolina
- $ 22,800 from Columbia entrepreneurs Lawrence and Sandra McGuckin
- $ 21,450 from Smith’s parents, James Smith Sr. and Nina Smith, and their real estate company, Shannon Development LLC
- $ 17,333 from Ramsdale Family Law in Mount Pleasant, led by Marie-Louise Ramsdale, former assistant to the state’s last Democratic governor, Jim Hodges
- $ 17,500 from Stonemark Management, an Atlanta-based real estate investment company with apartment complexes in the state