Catherine Templeton (copy)

Catherine Templeton, Republican candidate for South Carolina governor, addresses the 2017 South Carolina Republican Convention in Columbia. File/Andrew Brown/Staff

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Republican running for South Carolina governor is bringing on a heavy hitter as her campaign's new chairman.

Catherine Templeton tells The Associated Press on Saturday that Ward Baker has signed onto her effort to capture the GOP nomination in next year's gubernatorial race.

Baker is well-known in Republican circles and has served as executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Some credit him with helping GOP incumbents defend 24 Senate seats in the 2016 elections as they navigated often tricky waters given the candidacy of Donald Trump.

Templeton says Baker's wisdom, strategy and discipline give her campaign a boost.

Sign up for updates!

Get the latest political news from The Post and Courier in your inbox.

Templeton is one of a handful of candidates challenging Gov. Henry McMaster for next year's Republican nomination.