Templeton signgate

This screenshot shows a tweet from Republican gubernatorial candidate Catherine Templeton in which she claims another GOP campaign covered the yard of a Templeton volunteer with signs for Gov. Henry McMaster. Screenshot

MOUNT PLEASANT — Police are investigating the prankish appearance of 30 Henry McMaster-for-governor signs planted in the yard of a babysitter who's a Catherine Templeton for governor volunteer.

But what may be most troubling for Templeton?

Police misidentify her as "Sarah Templeton" in their original incident report.

In what may turn out to be a prank during a sensitive time of year, 18-year-old babysitter and Templeton intern Emma Scott reported coming home Saturday to find her front yard overrun with McMaster signs.

The next morning she called police. A report was taken.

The signs didn't come down immediately because "she stated that after she saw the signs she called the Sarah Templeton campaign manager whom she works for to explain what happened," according to the Mount Pleasant Police report.

McMaster's campaign says they had nothing to do with the stunt.

They did volunteer to police that on Friday and Saturday they received inquiries about campaign signs. On Saturday, two female teens came into a local campaign office and picked up 25 McMaster signs and "advised they were going to place in the Old Village," the police report says.

Senior McMaster campaign adviser Scott Farmer is identified in the report as saying staff "reported that they seemed nervous," referencing the girls involved.

"They were described as white females, one with blonde and hair (sic) and the other had dark hair," the report said.

Attempts to reach the holders of two telephone numbers associated with the inquiries, as supplied by the McMaster campaign, were unsuccessful. The numbers were also listed in a Mount Pleasant Police incident report.

Templeton campaign manager R.J. May III contends McMaster's campaign was behind the vandalism.

"The governor just needs to apologize and we can all move on," he said Monday.

McMaster campaign spokeswoman Caroline Anderegg called May's comments "absurd."

She said they repeatedly reached out to the Templeton campaign, and the intern who was described as a high school volunteer, to disavow any hand in the stunt but have received no acknowledgement.

May wasn't concerned about his candidate's name being misidentified in the incident report, saying her last name was correct and the officer was doing his police work. 

Police are determining any follow up status, a spokesman said.

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

Political Editor

Schuyler Kropf is The Post and Courier political editor. He has covered every major political race in South Carolina dating to 1988, including for U.S. Senate, governorship, the Statehouse and Republican and Democratic presidential primaries.