Greenville businessman John Warren put $50,000 of his own money Friday into a campaign account to run for South Carolina governor.
A former Marine, Warren, 38, is founder and CEO of a specialty mortgage finance company called Lima One Capital.
Although he could not be reached Friday, Warren announced he has "filed to explore a run for the Republican nomination for Governor" in a statement on his campaign website, warrenforgovernor.com.
“We need to clean up Columbia and end the sickening culture of corruption that infects our state government," Warren said.
"As a veteran who led over 300 combat missions, I can tell you that when I take on a mission, I always see it through," he added. "And if I run for governor, my mission will be to clean up Columbia and end the big-government gravy train that has done nothing but line the pockets of political insiders at the expense of the people."
Warren would be the fifth Republican candidate for governor, and the second from the Upstate, joining Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant of Anderson. The other GOP candidates include incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster, former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill and Charleston attorney Catherine Templeton, who ran two state agencies under former Gov. Nikki Haley.
McMaster came to Greenville on Tuesday to announce that he has chosen Travelers Rest businesswoman Pamela Evette as his running mate.
Two Democrats — state Rep. James Smith of Columbia and Charleston consultant Phil Noble — also are running for governor.
Lending in over 40 states, Lima One Capital has grown into one of the largest lenders for residential real estate investors and homebuilders, according to the company's website. The company has raised more than $1 billion in capital from institutional investors and has over 80 full-time employees.
The company's website says Warren recently participated as a principal in the largest bulk sale of single-family homes in U.S. history, selling more than 1,400 rental properties in Atlanta to Blackstone Group LP for over $100 million.
Before founding Lima One Capital, Warren served four years on active duty as a Marine infantry officer, according to his campaign website. While serving in Iraq, he was decorated for valor and heroic achievement, according to his campaign website.
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