McMaster set to get coveted governor's seat
COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) - With Nikki Haley set to be nominated for Donald Trump's UN ambassador, Henry McMaster is waiting in the wing to become the next governor of South Carolina.
Based on the South Carolina Constitution, if the current governor leaves office the Lt. Governor will fill that void.
McMaster has eyed the governor's position for several years. The 69-year-old first ran for the position in 2010, but finished third in the Republican Primary.
During his current tenure as Lt. Govenor, McMaster has eluded he was planning a run for the governor's seat in 2018.
That run may likely come as incumbent with Haley's departure to the national level.
Some political pundits believe that Haley's appointment to the President-elect's cabinet was a favor to McMaster to get his coveted position as governor for his early endorsement for Trump as President.
An amendment in 2014 cites that the Governor would nominate a choice for Lt. Governor. Though, it is believed that change was expected to go into effect for 2018.
Senator Joel Lourie said it is his understanding that if the governor leaves the position, that the Lt. Governor takes that position, with the Senate President Pro Tempore taking over as Lt. Governor.
"There are a lot of moving pieces that will create a domino effect," summarized Lourie.
The retiring state Senator did note that it is his belief that current Senate President Pro Tempore Hugh Leatherman would not want the Lt. Governor position as he does not want to step down from his position as Chairman of the Finance committee.
Lourie said the winner of the December election of the Senate President Pro Tempore would likely ascend to Lt. Governor.
McMaster released his first public statement Wednesday afternoon.