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McMaster Hires Consultant to Lead 2022 Reelection Campaign

Henry McMaster Richland County GOP Convention 04-31-21
Meg Kinnard/AP
/
AP
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster speaks during the Richland County GOP convention on Friday, April 30, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has officially hired a Columbia-based political strategist to lead his campaign for a second full term in office.

Mark Knoop is onboard as McMaster's campaign manager, the campaign told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Knoop, 33, has experience on campaigns at statewide, federal, and local levels, according to McMaster's advisors.

In 2020, he served as political director for U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who bested Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison — a fundraising juggernaut who smashed national records — by double digits. He also helped lead Victory 2020, the South Carolina Republican Party's overall election effort, which had a cascade of wins across the state.

That year, he consulted for U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, who beat Democratic challenger Adair Ford Boroughs by 13% of votes cast.

He has previously served as campaign manager for Attorney General Alan Wilson, now in his third term, and has run successful legislative campaigns across South Carolina.

In a statement provided to the AP, McMaster called Knoop “a real political talent who knows South Carolina inside and out."

"We are excited to have him lead our team as we share the message of our state’s great successes and bright future with the voters over the next 18 months," the governor added.

“Gov. McMaster has a proven record of putting South Carolina taxpayers and businesses first, keeping the economy strong through this historic pandemic, and fighting to protect our borders, our elections, and our Constitution," Knoop said. "I’m excited to join Governor McMaster’s team.”

In 2018, McMaster — who became governor in late 2016 when Nikki Haley joined the Trump administration — won his first full term, defeating Democrat James Smith by about 8 percentage points.

South Carolina's 2022 primary elections are more than a year away. So far, two Democrats have filed to vie for their party's nomination. No Republicans have filed official paperwork.

No Democrat has been elected governor in South Carolina in more than 20 years. All statewide offices, most of the congressional delegation and majorities in both state legislative chambers are held by Republicans.

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Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.