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South Carolina: Attorney General Gunning for Top Job

South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster publicly confirmed he is a Republican candidate for governor Monday, making official a campaign that has been all-but-official for months.

McMaster declared that he was running for governor in a video message on his Web site posted Monday evening, saying he intends to help pull the state together and focus on creating new jobs. “Taxpayers no longer trust their government,” he said. “There’s been too much dishonesty and too many scandals,” he added, a thinly-veiled dig at the state’s incumbent Gov. Mark Sanford, a fellow Republican.

Sanford, who confessed to having an affair in June and has been under scrutiny since for his state-funded travel spending, is term-limited and will not seek office in 2010. McMaster asked the State Ethics Committee to look into the governor’s use of state planes earlier this month.

McMaster’s online announcement will be followed up with a week’s worth of campaign activities, starting with a formal launch event Tuesday in Columbia, S.C. On Wednesday, the attorney and second-term AG will appear in Charleston, S.C. to talk about job creation and the state’s economy, followed by stops in Greenville and Myrtle Beach. McMaster was set to kick-off campaign last Monday, but postponed the announcement following the death of his mother.

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