Last week was supposed to be Charleston’s time in the national political spotlight.
Within a 24-hour period, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and Republican Jeb Bush were both scheduled to be in the Holy City for rallies. That changed with the fatal shootings Wednesday at the Emanuel AME Church.
Clinton left the city two hours before the shooting started. Bush cancelled his Charleston appearance, scheduled for the next morning, after the news went viral.
Other presidential hopefuls also postponed their visits to South Carolina, including Republican Donald Trump and Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders, the independent U.S. senator from Vermont.
Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania was set to be in Charleston on Monday for a national security forum at The Citadel. But the Americans for Peace, Prosperity and Security event was postponed on Friday to June 30.
Former Department of Health and Environmental Control Director Catherine Templeton confirmed last week she won’t challenge U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford for Congress in 2016.
Instead, she plans to throw all her energies into supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for president.
“I don’t think I could be the reformer that I’ve been and not choose him,” she said of Bush.
Key was Bush’s being a state executive. Bush has “actually done something,” she said.
Templeton, of Mount Pleasant, wouldn’t say whether she could influence her former boss, Gov. Nikki Haley, to endorse Bush as well, saying that choice is Haley’s.
Templeton had been seen as a potentially competitive candidate to challenge Sanford, R-S.C., in next year’s GOP primary.
Now that 2016 is out, what about 2018?
Templeton said it is way too early to discuss that or a possible run for governor.
Filing to get on the Republican presidential primary ballot opens in July and the price has gone up from four years ago.
This year, the S.C. Republican Party is charging $40,000 per candidate to get listed on the Feb. 20 ballot.
That’s up from $35,000.
Democrats haven’t determined theirs yet.
Compiled by Post and Courier political reporter Schuyler Kropf.