A Republican member of South Carolina's congressional delegation has again come out in support of a candidate challenging Gov. Henry McMaster for the GOP nomination

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A Republican member of South Carolina’s congressional delegation has come out in support of a different candidate challenging Gov. Henry McMaster for the GOP nomination for governor.

During an event Monday in Rock Hill, U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman announced his support for Greenville businessman John Warren over McMaster in the upcoming June 26 runoff.

“John Warren will shake up this system in Columbia,” Norman said. “He fits right into the mold of President Trump: He’s a self-made man who understands business and he’s got the establishment politicians running for cover.”

The first-term congressman initially backed former state public health chief Catherine Templeton, who finished third in last week’s GOP primary. Templeton announced last week that she was backing Warren in the runoff, as did fourth-place finisher Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant.

Together, Warren, Templeton and Bryant received 56 percent of the GOP primary vote Tuesday, forcing a June 26 runoff against McMaster, who managed only 42 percent. Warren finished second and is hoping his rivals’ backing could push him over the top.

In his bid for a first full term, McMaster has backing from President Donald Trump, who appeared at a fundraiser for him in the state last fall.

Norman, a real estate developer and former state lawmaker, was elected to the U.S. House in a 5th District special election last year. He’s seeking his first full term. His district crosses 11 counties, running north from near Columbia to spillover suburbs of the banking hub of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Warren’s campaign also said he was getting backing Monday from state Sen. Wes Climer, who also had previously backed Templeton.

Also Monday, McMaster announced support from a number of state lawmakers, sheriffs and solicitors hailing from the 5th Congressional District. Earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Tom Rice announced his support for McMaster, lauding the governor’s record on job creation, especially in the 7th District he represents.

McMaster and Warren will debate Wednesday in Newberry. The winner of next Tuesday’s runoff faces Democratic Rep. James Smith in November.


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