COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster will ascend to a job he’s long wanted if the U.S. Senate approves Donald Trump’s pick of Gov. Nikki Haley as ambassador to the United Nations.
The state constitution says McMaster becomes South Carolina’s next CEO.
Haley defeated McMaster, then a two-term attorney general, for the job in the 2010 Republican primary. He’s been a close ally since and congratulated her on Wednesday’s announcement.
But it was McMaster, not Haley, who backed the billionaire businessman in South Carolina’s first-in-the-South presidential primary.
In January, McMaster became the nation’s first statewide officeholder to endorse Trump, while Haley backed Mario Rubio. Trump won that primary by 10 percentage points over Rubio.
Last week, McMaster said Trump “is well aware” of the pivotal role the state played in his election.