South Carolina Lt. Governor Henry McMaster (R) — the first high-ranking elected official in the country to endorse Donald Trump early on in the campaign — is likely smiling today in the wake of Trump’s surprise presidential win.
“Congratulations on the big win last night President-Elect Donald J. Trump!” McMaster posted on Facebook earlier today. “It was exciting to introduce you at the GOP Convention & I am ready to help #MAGA (Make American Great Again).”
Political prognosticators speculate that McMaster, the former South Carolina Attorney General, has his sights set on the governorship, with incumbent Gov. Nikki Haley retiring due to term limits in 2018. His early support of the President-elect can only be seen as a boost to McMaster’s aspirations.
Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is probably feeling much differently today.
Graham publicly sparred with Trump throughout and after a Republican Presidential Primary campaign in which Graham never made it to the main debate stage and was forced to drop out of the race before any votes were cast.
On Election Day, Graham told reporters that he voted for third party candidate Evan Mcmullin, instead of the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.
Trump's win also comes just days after Graham was forced to answers question regarding his political contributions from an embattled Boston plaintiffs’ law firm.
Graham was the only Republican politician to receive donations from the Thornton Law Firm, a law firm which is the subject of a multi-piece Boston Globe/Center for Responsive Politics investigation that raises questions about whether the firm's partners contributed money to politicians, only to be paid bonuses by the firm to cover most of those costs.
The report, completed jointly with the Center for Responsive Politics, looked at $1.6 million donated between 2010 and 2014 by the firm's partners and one of their wives. It then found that $1.4 million was given back to the partners, most of it within 10 days of the donations being made.
The report found that Graham received $62,800 from the Thornton Law Firm over the 10-year span.
Politicians, including Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), announced they would return contributions made to their campaigns by the firm.
Graham’s office, however, told Palmetto Business Daily that the senator would return the contributions only if they were found to be illegal.
“Senator Graham's campaign has disgorged contributions from individuals convicted of making illegal donations,” spokesman Kevin Bishop told Palmetto Business Daily. “It's a longtime policy still in effect today.”
Whether or not those contributions are found to be illegal, one thing is for sure: It’s been a good week for Henry McMaster.
Not so much for Lindsey Graham.