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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — With less than five months until the South Carolina primary, two major candidates battling for the Republican gubernatorial nomination are shaking up their campaigns.

RJ May confirmed to The Associated Press on Tuesday that he has been hired to run Catherine Templeton’s campaign. The GOP operative replaces Jordan Wiggins, who left Templeton’s effort in November.

May also temporarily takes over duties for Templeton spokeswoman Mollie Young, who resigned this week.

Last year, May helped run efforts for businessman Ralph Norman, who won a special election to replace Mick Mulvaney in the U.S. House. He has also served as executive director of the South Carolina chapter of the Club for Growth.

“RJ has the energy, drive and commitment necessary for waging a campaign in all 46 counties,” Templeton said, in a statement provided to AP. “More importantly, he shares my firm conviction that our state will never advance until we shatter the good old boy network that has dominated our government for a quarter century.”

Gov. Henry McMaster is also making changes to his operation. Campaign spokeswoman Caroline Anderegg confirmed to AP that Katie Baham left the campaign on Friday. She is being replaced by Scott Farmer, who has run election efforts for U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham.

“The governor appreciates her, her hard work, and wishes her all the best in her future endeavors,” Anderegg told AP.

Baham has addressed the change-up, writing to fellow political operatives on Friday that change was needed to ensure McMaster’s success.

“Today, what is in the best interest of that mission is for significant changes to be made, and that means me stepping aside, allowing for greater opportunity for the campaign,” Baham wrote to political operatives, in an email obtained by AP. “I believe y’all know me well enough to understand I’m always willing to do what it takes to win – in this case, that means it’s time for a change in this position.”

South Carolina’s primary election is June 12.


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