Vincent Sheheen to run against Nikki Haley again

Haley after beating Sheheen in 2010. (AP/David Goldman)
Haley after beating Sheheen in 2010. (David Goldman/Associated Press)

South Carolina state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, the Democrat who lost to Gov. Nikki Haley in 2010, is planning to take her on again in 2014.

In an e-mail to supporters, Sheheen said he is building a campaign and will announce his bid this summer.

"Our state deserves better than the failed and dysfunctional government it has received from our current politicians," he writes. "Three years ago, we came so very close to changing South Carolina for the better. Now we can finish the job together."

Sheheen mentions high unemployment, high college tuition and a hacking that revealed sensitive taxpayer information as areas where he believes Haley has failed.

The state senator recently kicked off a tour for a new book, “The Right Way: Getting the Palmetto State Back on Track,” that looks a lot like a campaign platform. He met privately with a group of Democratic governors at last year's national convention, and he attended a Democratic Governors Association event in Los Angeles a few months ago.

"Not really much news here - he’s been running for governor his entire adult life – but it is ironic that Vince Sheheen, a pro-labor union trial lawyer, would announce his candidacy the day after Boeing announced 2,000 new jobs in South Carolina," said Haley adviser Tim Pearson. "Vince’s message to job creators: ‘We’ll raise your taxes, have trial lawyers take you to court, and let the labor unions push you around.’ Real inviting.”

Haley beat Sheheen by about five points in 2010, in a state Obama lost two years later by 10 points. A February Winthrop poll found that Haley, who has struggled in polls, is now viewed more favorably than unfavorably by registered voters for the first time in a year, by a 44 percent to 39 percent margin.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Sean Sullivan · April 10, 2013