Much of the race's focus over the last two weeks has been on claims from two GOP operatives that they'd had inappropriate physical relationships in the past with candidate Nikki Haley. She's denied their claims, and has gone so far as to say she'd resign as governor if the allegations were ever proven true.
The TPM Poll Average shows Haley leading in the primary with 28.1%, followed by McMaster at 18.0%, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer with 15.7% and Rep. Graham Barrett with 15.3%.
Here's McMaster's full statement:
The behavior of my opponents, their campaigns and their supporters over the last few weeks has not served our state well. In fact, it's been embarrassing.
South Carolina is a wonderful state, blessed with talented people, abundant resources and unlimited potential. Success is ours for the taking. And it's time we start acting like it.
For the sake of our state and our people, I'm calling on them to cut this nonsense out right now. They should rein in their attention-starved surrogates, re-focus on the important issues at hand, and renew their commitment to putting South Carolina's interest above their own self-interest.
Because in the end, any short-term personal political gain they may earn comes at the expense of South Carolina's bright future.