Talent and Organization - South Carolina

Nine presidential campaigns organized to varying degress for the South Carolina primary; by primary day, January 21, 2012 there were four campaigns remaining.

updated January 24, 2012



Newt Gingrich +

In addition to headquarters in Greenville, the campaign opened four other Victory offices around the state.  Adam Waldeck, who prior to the campaign was director of e-communications and e-campaigns for American Solutions heads the effort; he arrived in state in October.  William W. “Billy” Wilkins, a former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, and his wife Debra Wilkins chaired the campaign.  Prior to the mass resignations on June 9, 2011 former South Carolina Republican chairman Katon Dawson had been Gingrich's top advisor in the state.

Ron Paul +

On Oct. 27, 2011 the Paul campaign announced Dr. Michael Vasovski as South Carolina chairman.  Vasovski rus a general medical practice in Aiken; he ran for Congress in 2010.

Mitt Romney +

On May 19, 2011 the Romney for President Exploratory Committee announced David Raad as senior advisor for South Carolina.  Raad served as national field director at the Republican National Committee in the 2010 cycle.  With his wife Lori he co-founded of LDR Services, based in Upstate South Carolina.  He has worked on campaigns since 1996.  On Sept. 5, 2011 the campaign announced Treasurer Curtis Loftis as state chair. 

Rick Santorum +

On June 25, 2011 Santorum announced his South Carolina leadership team, chaired by former Congressman Gresham Barrett from Westminster.  National senior communications advisor Hogan Gidley brings a wealth of South Carolina experience to the campaign.  Also Jim Hirni is consulting for former Sen. Santorum in South Carolina.  Hirni is president of The H2 Group, LLC, a Charleston based political consulting, fundraising, public relations and event planning company, since Nov. 2008.

former candidates:

Rick Perry +

Former SC GOP chair Katon Dawson is chairing Perry's effort; Chris McClure is state director (both reported by CNN on Aug. 13).  Perry has secured many endorsements starting with Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, former House Speaker David Wilkins and physician Eddie Floyd, and including U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney; on Sept. 21, 2011 the campaign announced it had a total of 21 state legislator endorsements.

Jon Huntsman +

Joel Sawyer is state director (first reported by CNN on May 23, 2011).  Sawyer served as executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party in the 2010 cycle starting in an interim capacity in Feb. 2010 and continuing through May 23, 2011.  He worked for Gov. Mark Sanford for six and a half years, leaving as communications director on Aug. 5, 2009 to found New Level Strategies.  Earlier he worked as a reporter for the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.  Richard Quinn, principal of Richard Quinn and Associates, consulting firm based in Columbia is a key figure on the Huntsman team.  Quinn's experience includes South Carolina consultant for McCain's 2008 campaign, lead South Carolina strategist for McCain's 2000 campaign, and consultant to Sen. Phil Gramm's (R-TX) 1996 campaign in South Carolina.  South Carolina operative Chris Allen is national political director (on April 14, 2011 The Fix/Chris Cillizza reported that he had signed on to the campaign).  Adam Piper was announced on June 28 as political director for the Carolinas.  Mike Campbell, who served as South Carolina chairman for Mike Huckabee in the 2008 primary campaign, announced his support for Huntsman on May 16, 2011.  Former Attorney General Henry McMaster is another key supporter.

Michele Bachmann
Sheri Few
is state director; she started out organizing Bachmann's early SC trips.  She is a wife, mother, small business owner, activist from Lugoff (Kershaw County, northeast Columbia area).  President, CEO and co-founder of the nonprofit South Carolina Parents Involved in Education (SC PIE), which does abstinence education.  On Oct. 10, 2011 the campaign announced Ron Thomas as senior advisor, and on Nov. 2 the campaign announced Wesley Donehue as senior advisor and communications director; he is CEO of Donehue Direct, a Columbia, SC-based political consulting and Internet strategy firm.  On Nov. 15, the campaign announced state Sen. Lee Bright of Roebuck (Spartanburg Co.) as state chairman.

Herman Cain +

William F. Head is state director. 

Tim Pawlenty +

Kurt Pickhardt started on May 16, 2011 as political director.  He came to the campaign after about two years working as operations director of the South Carolina Republican Party.  Degree in political science from the University of South Carolina; interned at the South Carolina Republican Party headquarters.  Greenville native.

former exploratory candidate:

Roy Moore

Rick Beltram served as South Carolina chairman of the exploratory committee.  He ran for state GOP chairman in 2009 and served as chairman of the Spartanburg County GOP from 1999-2009.  He owns B Square Enterprises, which does sales and consulting.

former possible candidates:

Mike Huckabee

Hogan Gidley served as executive director of HUCK PAC (announced Feb. 2010). He was communications director for Sen. Elizabeth Dole (NC)'s re-election campaign in 2008.  Executive director of the South Carolina Republican party in 2006-07.  Worked for Richard Quinn and Associates, where he served as campaign adviser and spokesperson to South Carolina Gov. David Beasley. From 2000-04, Gidley worked in a variety of roles for Gov. Mike Huckabee, including director of media operations. 

Haley Barbour +

In March 2011 veteran communications strategist Jim Dyke signed on as communications advisor.  Dyke, based in Charleston, served as communications director at the RNC in the 2004 cycle and founded Jim Dyke & Associates, now JDA Frontline, in 2005.  Legendary strategist J. Warren Tompkins, III is backing Barbour.  Tompkins, started his consulting practice, now Tompkins & Kinard, LLC, in 1991 and is veteran of South Carolina and national politics, with experience many presidential campaigns.  He was senior advisor for the Southeastern Region on Romney for President, Inc. from Nov. 2006 to the end of the campaign.  Atlantic Region chair for the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign.  General consultant on Lindsey Graham's successful campaign for U.S. Senate in 2002.  Strategist for the 1988 Bush presidential campaign.  Tompkins helped elect Carroll Campbell governor in 1986 and served as Campbell's chief of staff, supervising a staff of more than 230 people and budgets totaling more than $91 million.  Executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party starting in 1981. Executive director of both South Carolina Reagan-Bush campaigns (1980 and 1984), the first at age 28.  Volunteered on Strom Thurmond's 1978 Senate campaign.  First campaign was a 1974 magistrate’s race.  Greenville consultant Hollis "Chip" Felkel is also backing Barbour.  He is founder and CEO of the Felkel Group and has worked for Campbell for Governor, the South Carolina Republican Party, the Republican National Committee, as well as the 1988 Bush-Quayle Campaign (Executive Director – Georgia), DeMint 2002 Congressional Re-elect (campaign manager) and in strategic and communications roles with Bush-Cheney 2000 and 2004.

Draft Pence

On Jan. 19, 2011 at the Statehouse in Columbia eleven legislators announced they were encouraging Rep. Mike Pence to run for President: Representatives Eric Bedingfield, Kris Crawford,  Phyllis Henderson, Dwight Loftis, Wendy Nanney, Ralph Norman and Gary Smith; and Senators Lee Bright, Kevin Bryant, Ronnie Cromer and Phillip Shoopman.  However, Pence announced he would not seek the Republican nomination on Jan. 27. >