Lieutenant governor stumps in fast-growing Fort Mill

FORT MILL — Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer campaigned for re-election this morning at the busy intersection of S.C. 160 and Interstate 77 next to Baxter Village.

Bauer, a Republican seeking his second term against Democrat Robert Barber, arrived before 7:30, carrying his own sign.

“I love it,” Bauer said. “I love the interaction with people. Once in a while I hear something negative, but that’s part of the process. In this day and age, people are cynical. They get something they don’t get from television or other media. They get me.”

Some drivers honked and waved and a group of what looked like teenagers called out “We love you, Andre.” Some people gave the thumbs up.

One lady slowed to say she was voting for him. One guy stopped for a brief chat until traffic meant he had to split.

Many drove by without a glance.

Bauer waved to them all, for an hour and a half. The Republican incumbent has used the roadside campaign in Statehouse races and previous lieutenant governor races, even while on crutches in June after a plane crash in Blacksburg. Although the lieutenant governor’s job is largely ceremonial, Bauer touts that in the past four years he has made the his office into an organization that helps seniors.

York County Republican Party Chairman Henry Eldridge showed up Thursday morning, saying he’s pleased Bauer brought his trademark wave to Fort Mill. Republican S.C. House of Representatives District 48 candidate Carl Gullick, seeking the seat that represents Fort Mill, showed up. A longtime Bauer supporter, Gullick said Bauer’s roadside wave is a successful style that voters recognize.

Bauer campaign manager Drake Jarman, standing near the road with a Bauer sandwich board covering his front and back, said Bauer is known statewide for the roadside wave.

For more on this story, see Friday's Herald.