COLUMBIA — Mike Campbell says he is "heavily leaning" toward running for the lieutenant governor's seat.
Campbell, the son the late Gov. Carroll Campbell, last ran for the post in 2006, leading the primary but losing to Andre Bauer in a runoff.
He told GreenvilleOnline.com he has been thinking of the race more recently after Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell announced he would not seek re-election so he can focus his efforts on winning theCollege of Charleston presidency.
"I'm heavily leaning towards running," he said. "Am I ready to pull the trigger today and say emphatically that I am going to announce? No, but with the level of support that is out there and the encouragement we are getting and having all of that reinforced with this independent poll, that coupled together is obviously something I have to give strong consideration to."
Charleston developer Pat McKinney, a Republican, and Democratic Rep. Bakari Sellers already have announced for the race.
The poll Campbell refers to was a survey of 400 likely Republican primary voters taken Feb. 4 that shows Campbell beating McKinney 28.3 percent to 9 percent, with 60.8 percent undecided.
Campbell calls the poll "flattering."
"In the (poll) methodology, they didn't say this is Mike Campbell, Governor Campbell's son," Campbell said. "So the majority of respondents who remembered by name, I think they remember and associate that with the last time I ran for lieutenant governor. It meant a lot to me to see those numbers because it's been since 2006 since I ran last. To have those kind of numbers, I was very encouraged by that."
Campbell, 45, currently runs a consulting and granite business in Columbia. In 2008, he was the state chairman for Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign. In 2012, he worked on Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign.
The lieutenant governor's race will change in 2018 when voters will elect the governor and lieutenant governor on the same ticket, just as they do in the presidential race.