McMaster and Warren

Gov. Henry McMaster (left) and John Warren vote during the South Carolina primary Tuesday.  Lauren Petracca /The Greenville News via AP

COLUMBIA — The two remaining candidates seeking the Republican nomination for governor, Gov. Henry McMaster and Greenville businessman John Warren, will debate next week in Newberry.

The debate at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Newberry Opera House is presented by SCETV, The Post and Courier and S.C. Public Radio in coordination with the state Republican Party.

McMaster, a former attorney general and lieutenant governor who was promoted to governor last year after Nikki Haley left for the United Nations, was the top vote-getter during Tuesday's primary with 42.3 percent. 

Warren, a political newcomer who spent $3 million of his own money in the campaign, received 27.9 percent of the vote to get into the June 26 runoff.

He went on Fox Business on Wednesday to say his experience in running a real estate lending firm makes him the candidate most like President Donald Trump, who has endorsed McMaster.

"It's time to change the coach," Warren said shooting back at McMaster's knock that his challenger is a "rookie."

Warren said he would like to debate the governor three times over the next two weeks, but the Newberry event will be McMaster's only debate before voters choose a GOP nominee. 

The runoff winner will face Rep. James Smith of Columbia, who easily won the Democratic primary on Tuesday, and American Party candidate Martin Barry in the November general election.

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Columbia Bureau Chief

Shain runs The Post and Courier's team based in South Carolina's capital city. He was editor of Free Times and has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Charlotte, Columbia and Myrtle Beach.