South Carolina Lawmaker Formally Enters Gubernatorial Race

October 17, 2017, 2:43 pm EST | Share:

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina House member is formally announcing his bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Columbia Rep. James Smith plans to make his official announcement Tuesday night.

The 50-year-old Columbia native has been in the House since 1997.

Former Gov. Jim Hodges and Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin are among those scheduled to speak at the event. Hodges was the last Democrat to serve as South Carolina governor.

Smith told The Associated Press earlier this month he felt he needed to do all he could for the people of South Carolina.

Charleston consultant Phil Nobel said last week he will also seek the Democratic nomination.

At least four people are seeking the Republican nomination for next year’s election, including Gov. Henry McMaster.

Gubernatorial primaries are set for June 12.

Smith will join three other candidate in the race against incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster. Those candidates include:

– Kevin Bryant, the current Lieutenant Governor.
– Yancey McGill, a former Democratic Lt. Governor and State Senator.
– Catherine Templeton, the former Director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and former Director of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.