Now that football is over and President Obama is in the White House, let's gaze ahead a little to 2010 and the race to be the next Governor of South Carolina. It looks like the Republican tickets is going to come down to AG Henry McMaster versus Lt. Governor, McCain-like-pilot, Andre Bauer. Dr. Oscar Lovelace that ran against Sanford last time is saying he will run as an independent.
So far, the only Democrat to announce is Rep. Robert Ford from Charleston. But to give you an idea on how seriously Ford can be taken, he "announced" by sending an email to just a limited list of folks. Jam up start there, sir. Personally, I don't think Ford is a serious candidate. The other two names being floated around are State Sen. Vince Sheheen and former House Minority Leader James Smith. Pictured below, respectively. Of the two, I would think Sheheen has a better chance, but Smith makes an interesting candidate given his former leadership position and his military service. These two fellas are supposedly pretty close, which makes the fact that they both appear to be interested an intriguing story in its own right.
Of course, as with any Democratic race/position of any size, Inez Tennenbaum's name is getting thrown around. Inez scrambled there late in the national campaign to get on the Obama wagon hoping to parlay that into a job in Washington. Some of my sources claim Inez thought she stood a shot at being named the Secretary of Education which was a pipedream. Personally, I've got a problem with Inez being my candidate, because I tend to want my Democratic candidates to run as a Democrat. Call me crazy. She ran like hell away from the party during her failed run against DeMint, who by the way did and said every stupid thing he possibly could to lose that race. Inez is part of that Shandon Mafia that has not yet realized our party is changing and they aren't in total control anymore.
So who do I like? How about this guy:
State Sen. Gerald Malloy.
Sen. Malloy has the chops and the power to become the front runner as soon as he decides to announce. He has shown his effectiveness as a representative of the people, just drive past the raceway and look at all the new schools his district has. Not to mention, he led the way on the Indigent Defense bill, which moved SC to the forefront in terms of the operation of our criminal justice system (if the Legislature would just make sure it stays funded). Malloy was also behind Obama early on and is not a member of the Columbia cabal that has run our party for so long (and whose results speak volumes). He was also a former President of the Trial Lawyers Association, so raising money would be no problem.
Malloy has quietly made his way around the state over the past year speaking in a lot of places. His potential run has been slowly percolating around the various circles and no one (not even those close to the Senator) seems to have heard him shoot the rumors down. My prediction is if Malloy announces, Smith and Sheheen drop out. If he beats Inez to it, he locks up the trial lawyers' support and the nomination is his.