Harry Ott stays out of it, backs Sheheen

Well, the rumors I was hearing at the Jim Rex event last week turned out to be untrue — Harry Ott is not running for governor. Instead, he’s backing Vincent Sheheen:


“I believe it’s time we elect a governor we can all be proud of…

Vincent Sheheen is that person.”

St. Matthews, SC – Following his announcement over the weekend that he would not run for governor, House Minority Leader Harry Ott announced today that he is endorsing state Senator Vincent Sheheen in the race for governor.

“South Carolinians are yearning for a trustworthy, hard-working governor – one who can build the coalitions and provide the leadership necessary to address the challenges we face,” said Ott. “On the issues that will define the success or failure of our next governor – particularly creating good jobs and revitalizing our public schools – Vincent Sheheen is the candidate with the independence, experience and vision to move South Carolina forward.”

Ott and Sheheen served together in the South Carolina House from 2001 – 2004. Since 2004, Sheheen has served in the state Senate, where he represents Chesterfield, Kershaw and Lancaster counties.

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Vincent over the last decade and I believe, without a doubt, that he and I share a common vision of what South Carolina can be with the right person at the helm,” Ott continued. “Vincent has a longstanding reputation for forging partnerships and getting results. And perhaps most importantly, he believes deeply, as I do, in the value of our public schools and knows that they are the cornerstone for economic development and job creation.”

“South Carolina is at a pivotal juncture,” Ott said. “I believe it’s time we elect a governor we can all be proud of – one who has the character and integrity to help this great state find its way again. Vincent Sheheen is that person. I am excited to endorse Vincent Sheheen for governor of South Carolina, and I will work to help him get elected.”

This seems a good call on Rep. Ott’s part. The field was crowded enough, and he didn’t want it badly enough to claw through all that, from what I could tell at the one campaign event I heard him speak at.

This is good news for Sheheen, as Harry Ott is the sort of Democrat who pulls toward the center, and whoever gets the nomination will need that kind of appeal in November 2010. (Of course, the big question is always whether primary voters will have the sense to appreciate that.)

4 thoughts on “Harry Ott stays out of it, backs Sheheen

  1. Randy E

    here’s a comparison of Sheheen and Rex on education, for what it’s worth.

    Sheheen for gov on education( http://www.vincentsheheen.com/issues/education ):
    Let teachers teach
    school funding
    increase teacher pay

    Rex for super:
    accountability (including freeing up teachers to teach)
    public choice
    equity in funding
    reinvigorate teachers (including higher pay)

    Neither has or will do much to reform education. The band-aids look better than what Sanfraud offered.

  2. doug_ross


    I think the mistake you make is in thinking that people know who Harry Ott is.

    I read the papers and try to stay informed. I’ve lived in South Carolina for 20 years. I had no idea who Harry Ott is (nor Vincent Sheheen or Dwight Drake).

    Maybe you might want to consider that there is a insulated clique of insiders in Columbia who think they are more famous than they really are.

    I’m waiting for a candidate who has actually done something versus talking about what he will do.

  3. Lee Muller

    Brad, why don’t you try, just once, to back someone who doesn’t have the Old Family Establishment Seal of Approval?

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