COLUMBIA — South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley is asking voters to give the mayor of the state’s capital city more power. Voters in the Democratic stronghold will decide Tuesday whether to move to a strong mayor form of government, transferring most of the authority held by the city manager to the elected mayor. As in most South Carolina municipalities, Columbia’s mayoral and council races are officially nonpartisan. Mayor Steve Benjamin ran for state attorney general in 2002 as a Democrat.
A spokesman for Haley’s campaign says it shows that politics played no role in her decision to get involved in the local issue.
Rob Godfrey says Haley is backing the strong-mayor push for the same reasons she’s fighting for the Legislature to transfer more authority and responsibility to the governor’s office.