The political spotlight will be on Greenville today as Republican Gov. Nikki Haley announces her candidacy for a second term, flanked by three other high-profile GOP governors, outside the BI-LO Center.
The announcement is scheduled for 4 p.m. (Get live updates from the announcement here.
Protesters led by the state AFL-CIO and the South Carolina Democratic Women’s Council have pledged to be on the scene.
Haley, who rose from obscurity in a 2010 primary crowded with well-known political figures to become the state’s first woman governor, will be joined by Rick Perry of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Scott Walker of Wisconsin – all considered possible presidential candidates in 2016.
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, whom Haley appointed to replace Jim DeMint after he resigned to lead the Heritage Foundation, will be the emcee.
Haley also is scheduled to attend a private fundraiser at the home of Greenville developer Bob Hughes.
Her campaign is likely to be a rematch with Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen of Camden, who lost to Haley by less than 5 percent in 2010.
Republican and Democratic state party officials sent out dueling emails Friday, with the GOP claiming that Haley’s support has grown since she was elected, and Democrats arguing that the Republicans had no polling data to back up their claim and citing reasons why they believe she should be less popular now than in 2010.
Susan Smith, president of the state Democratic Women’s Council, said the four governors at Haley’s event have put corporate interests ahead of the public interest.
“Haley, Walker, Perry and Jindal have attacked voting rights, health care, and public education in their states,” she said. “Each has taken bold steps that favor particular companies and industries after receiving their campaign donations, too.”
Elsewhere in the Upstate today, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, another potential GOP presidential candidate, is scheduled to be in Anderson at 6:30 p.m. for U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan’s annual Faith and Freedom barbecue and fundraiser at the Anderson Civic Center.