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Ethics director says S.C. Lt. Governor can continue fundraising for nonexistent race

Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant (FILE)

The director of South Carolina's ethics agency says Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant can continue raising money for a nonexistent race.

The Republican lieutenant governor has collected more than $100,000 since January toward a 2018 bid for a full term. But voters won't individually elect the next lieutenant governor. Starting next year, gubernatorial candidates will pick their running mates.

State Ethics Commission director Steve Hamm tells The State newspaper that Bryant can legally raise money for the job despite the change. He says the state definition of a candidate includes someone who's seeking an appointment.

Bryant's fundraising includes about $60,000 transferred from his state Senate campaign account. The Senate chose him as lieutenant governor after Nikki Haley was confirmed as United Nations ambassador and Henry McMaster became governor.

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