In a sure sign Andre Bauer is running for governor, the two-term, Republican lieutenant governor Thursday opened a campaign bank account and filed paperwork with the State Ethics Commission.
"He's one of the most underestimated politicians in South Carolina, and he's one of the most likable," said former S.C. GOP chairman Katon Dawson, who has not endorsed a candidate. "This is a guy who's always fought the odds. He's a scrapper.
"I'd hate to run against him."
Campaign consultant, Chris LaCivita said Bauer, who recently moved his legal residence to Greenville, will make a formal announcement soon.
Bauer, who oversees the S.C. Office on Aging as lieutenant governor, raised more than $290,000 in the third quarter.
Known for constituent services, Bauer has more than $825,000 on hand, including money saved from previous campaigns. Bauer now will ask those donors for permission to spend that money on his bid for the GOP's gubernatorial nomination.
"We're pretty confidant that we should be able to transfer 99.9 percent of it," LaCivita said. "We're very confidant that Andre can compete financially."
Bauer also has nearly $17,000 in his new gubernatorial account, according to filings with the State Ethics Commission.
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