Last week, Will Folks over at the FITSNEWS blog reported that South Carolina Superintendant of Education Jim Rex is running for Governor as a Democrat in 2010. Folks’s post suggested that Rex was unhappy with the Democratic Party and that was why he was running.
It made a good story, but unfortunately, sources close to Rex and within in the Democratic Party tell VUI such is not the case. Last week, Rex made it clear to his senior staff that he has not made a decision about running for Governor, and allies of his seem to think he will run for re-election to his current post, if he runs at all.
Let’s look at the political realities of Jim Rex. Rex won a razor thin victory against an incredibly inept Republican candidate in 2006. Since that razor thin victory, Rex has done nothing to distinguish himself as the leader of the Democratic Party in South Carolina. While Folks’s post seems inaccurate in a riff between Rex and the Democratic Party, it is clear that Rex is not the leader of the South Carolina Democratic Party.
That role seems to have fallen upon Kershaw County State Senator Vincent Sheheen. While Sheheen does face some Democratic Primary opposition in the 2010 Governor’s race, it is clear that Rex would have a very difficult fight against the State Senator from Kershaw County. Sources tell VUI that Rex faces the following choices: run for re-election, run against Senator Jim DeMint or retire from the field.
Perhaps Rex will end up running for Governor, but one thing is for sure right now, those who are around him and know Rex best say he has not decided to do so. Other allies of Rex are gearing up for his re-election campaign, not a race for Governor.