By Paul Gable
An automatic statewide vote recount to finalize the second position in the Lt. Governor’s race was cancelled this evening when unofficial second place finisher Pat McKinney dropped out of the race.
McKinney, who finished in second place in unofficial vote tallies after Tuesday’s primary, led third place finisher Mike Campbell by 1,250 votes triggering an automatic recount because the margin separating the two was within a 1% margin of the total vote.
According to campaign manager Taylor Hall, McKinney decided to drop out of the race for personal reasons having lost his father and father-in-law within the last two months.
The decision was rather sudden as earlier in the day the McKinney campaign announced an endorsement from Erick Erickson, founder of Redstate.com.
McKinney tweeted earlier this afternoon, “I am ready to once again be a full-time husband, father and grandfather.”
McKinney was the apparent choice of Gov. Nikki Haley, although she also has ties to former Attorney General Henry McMaster, the frontrunner in Tuesday’s voting.
Haley and Republican Party leaders both denied asking McKinney to leave the race.