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Former SC lieutenant governor, Trump supporter Andre Bauer named ambassador to Belize

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Bauer launches bid for governor (copy)

Former S.C. Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer. File/Staff

Former South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, a recent CNN contributor and supporter of President Donald Trump, has been nominated by the president to be the next ambassador to the Central American country of Belize.

The announcement came Friday afternoon from the White House.

Bauer, 51, served as the state's lieutenant governor from 2003 to 2011 under then-Gov. Mark Sanford. He has been a longtime fixture in Republican politics, starting as a member of the state Legislature in both the House and Senate, and later running for governor.

He is a real estate developer based in Charleston.

Bauer did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

The ambassador's post has been vacant since the previous аmbаѕѕаdоr, Саrlоѕ Моrеnо, saw his term conclude with the end of the Obama administration.

Belize, where the official language is English, is highly popular with American tourists for its beaches and Mayan history.

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The State Department warning on the country says "crime rates, including violent crimes, remain high in Belize. Although Americans have not been specifically targeted."

Bauer joins a list of South Carolina Republicans with Trump ties to get a ambassadorships, including former Gov. Nikki Haley at the United Nations and Charleston businessman Ed McMullen as ambassador to Switzerland. McMullen was state chairman of Trump's presidential run in South Carolina.  

Bauer's nomination would have to be confirmed by the Senate. He left CNN after his contract was not renewed, according to media reports from February 2019. 

As a politician Bauer made headlines outside of his duties. He got caught speeding twice in a four-month period, but did not receive a ticket.

“Just running late as usual,” he told a trooper in one incident. Bauer was let go with a warning.

In the other incident, Bauer radioed that the driver of a state-issued Crown Victoria going more than 100 mph on Interstate 77 that state troopers were following is “SC-2,” code for the lieutenant governor.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 843-937-5551. Follow him on Twitter at @skropf47.