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SC gov hopeful John Warren to put $2.5M more into campaign

May 3, 2018 GMT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A Republican mounting a primary challenge to South Carolina’s governor is infusing his campaign coffers with a major donation, according to campaign communications obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

In a message planned to go out to campaign supporters later in the day, John Warren said he’s “ready to take it up a notch” by putting an additional $2.5 million of his own money toward his effort to unseat Gov. Henry McMaster.

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Warren has already put $500,000 toward his primary campaign, and it’s long been anticipated that the mortgage company owner would put in more. In the message being sent to supporters, Warren said that he’s encouraged by new polling numbers that show him just a few points behind McMaster, with a quarter of voters remaining undecided.

In a campaign memo obtained by the AP, campaign manager Taylor Hall writes that a new survey by Warren’s pollsters shows McMaster leading the primary field with support from 28 percent, followed by Warren with 24 percent. Former state public health chief Catherine Templeton drew support from 16 percent.

The survey focused on people who could recall Warren’s television ads, which have been running in heavy rotation. Other polls have shown McMaster with at least a 20-point lead over his closest competitors.

“With less than six weeks until Election Day, now is the time to make a big move,” Hall wrote in the memo, addressed to Warren. “We have the campaign infrastructure in place to win this race and when voters hear your message and your background, we win.”

Warren, who launched his campaign earlier this year, had a total of about $266,000 on hand at the end of the most recent fundraising period. McMaster and Templeton, both of whom have been in the running since last year, showed $2.97 million and $2.53 million on hand, respectively.

McMaster, Warren and Templeton face Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant and former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill in the June 12 GOP primary. Three Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination.

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Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP. Read more of her work at https://apnews.com/search/meg%20kinnard.