Politics & Government

South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer breaks silence

When Andre Bauer was a teenager, he would scavenge golf courses with his sister for stray golf balls, only to clean and repackage them in egg cartons to sell in the parking lot.

As a child accompanying his mother to Lexington County Republican Party meetings, Bauer would sell candy bars, and later, Christmas trees.

And in the late '90s, when constituents complained of potholes while Bauer was running for the S.C. House, he rented an asphalt truck from CR Jackson, grabbed a shovel and filled in the holes himself.

"He's a true entrepreneur," said Curtis Loftis, who once worked for Bauer in the state Office on Aging. "He's at his best when he is thinking on his feet and making decisions in a hurry."

Bauer had to think fast last week, when the state's chief executive admitted to ducking his staff and his wife to keep secret a trip to Argentina to visit his lover.

Bauer's first reaction was to "go dark" — at least to the media. He disappeared so the disappearing governor could explain things for himself.

But now, nearly a week after Gov. Mark Sanford's awkward State House news conference and the publication of e-mails between the governor and his lover, Bauer is sensing another opportunity.

The 40-year-old lieutenant governor acknowledged Monday he was discussing with state Republican leaders the possibility of not running for governor in 2010 — in exchange for taking over the governor's mansion now.

Presumably, the deal would take some of the heat off Bauer, who has grown weary of what he says is a coordinated attack on his character and credibility.

To read the complete article, visit www.thestate.com.

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