By MEG KINNARD
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – By securing the Republican gubernatorial nomination, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is a step closer to reaping the payoff of what may have been the biggest political risk of his life.
Despite his popularity and years in government, McMaster’s victory in Tuesday’s runoff over businessman John Warren may not have been possible without the governor’s relationship with President Donald Trump.
The connection seemed an unlikely one in early 2016, when the then-lieutenant governor and establishment Republican went out on a political limb to support Trump’s candidacy.
But McMaster was adamant about his support, saying Trump’s plain-spoken nature was in part what attracted him to the campaign. After McMaster became governor following Nikki Haley’s confirmation as U.N. Ambassador, Trump backed McMaster’s campaign, visiting the state hours before Tuesday’s polls opened.
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