On Saturday, the South Carolina GOP took the unusual step of , when it endorsed Katrina Shealy over incumbent Jake Knotts in the race for Senate Seat 23. On Monday, Shealy accepted the endorsement:
“When I am elected to the State Senate people will not have to lay awake at night wondering what deal Jake Knotts is cutting or what scheme he is entering into to benefit himself.
“They will know that I am there hard at work improving our economy, promoting our true conservative values and ensuring our kids have a brighter future. The fun and games surrounding Jake Knotts has to end. Governing is serious business and Jake Knotts has failed and lost the confidence of the people,” said Shealy in a prepared statement.
Knotts responded to the endorsement on Saturday:
“Over the years I’ve earned the nickname, ‘the Senator for the people.' It’s because I put the people of Lexington County first, ahead of any outside interests and especially above any political party.
“I’ve stood up to the party bosses when it’s been in the best interests of those I serve, and I’ll continue to do so.
“This isn’t the first time that my opponent has tried to bring in folks from outside Lexington County to campaign against me. The last time, I responded with an advertisement featuring real people who actually live Lexington County.
“This was to underscore the main difference between my incumbent and me: I’m running to serve the people of Lexington County, while she’s beholden to outside political interests.
“For my part, that’s the approach I’m going to continue to take. I’m going to keep my campaign focused right here in Lexington County, and let her campaign in other parts of the state.
“Furthermore let me add that this shows just how far the party has drifted. We’ve strayed far from the common-sense conservative principles which have helped the Republican Party grow and flourish. These aren’t real Republicans. Real Republicans, such as as those in Lexington County, still support Jake Knotts.”