COLUMBIA — South Carolina Republicans are fielding five candidates for the nation’s first GOP presidential primary debate.
The South Carolina Republican Party said Wednesday its lineup will be: former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former governors Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico; pizza magnate Herman Cain and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.
Better known candidates won’t be there. Former governors Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, Sarah Palin of Alaska and Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich aren’t formally in the race.
Candidates can’t participate unless they form an exploratory committee, file state paperwork and pay a $25,000 fee to get on the South Carolina’s primary ballot. They also must meet national polling criteria.