COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Former labor and public health chief Catherine Templeton has officially entered the South Carolina governor's race.

Templeton told The Associated Press on Tuesday that she is pursuing the 2018 Republican gubernatorial nomination.

Templeton had planned to enter the race earlier but postponed her official decision in January. Then, Templeton explained her thinking to the AP after it ran a story on next year's gubernatorial race.

The story pointed out that Nikki Haley's acceptance of a post as U.N. ambassador elevated then-Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster to the state's top slot. That meant McMaster will be an incumbent when he runs, as expected, in 2018.

Templeton says encouragement from those urging her to run "has been overwhelming."