COLUMBIA — Georgetown's Gloria Tinubu has been tabbed as the running mate for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Noble.
Tinbu will run for lieutenant governor of South Carolina alongside the Charleston businessman. The announcement was made Thursday morning during the first of three campaign events for Noble throughout the day.
Tinubu, a Plantersville native who ran unsuccessfully for the state's 7th Congressional District in 2012 and 2014, said her latest entry into politics is "an opportunity to give back to a state that gives so much to me."
“I’ve always felt it was my responsibility to give back, to make a difference. This is an awesome opportunity to do that," she told the Georgetown Times on Thursday.
Noble said, “Tinubu not only understands the change South Carolinians are looking for, she lives it. We share the same determination to end corruption, reorder the priorities of state government and set a dramatically different course for the future.”
Tinubu, a former college professor and state representative in Georgia, resigned in late April from her position as economic development director for the city of Georgetown after just over a year in the role. At the time, she said she wanted to focus on addressing the issue of systemic poverty. She supported Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign.
Tinubu said she plans to continue as chairwoman of the board of the Mitney Project and her work with the West End Redevelopment Subcommittee
The names of running mates will not appear on the June 12 primary election ballots, but the choices send a signal to voters about who the candidates think could help lead the state as it tackles struggling schools, a changing economy and dealing with the the fallout from the $9 billion failed nuclear plant project in Fairfield County.
Names of the full ticket, governor and lieutenant governor, will appear on ballots in November after the voters pick nominees. Running mates must be named by Aug. 1.
The governor and lieutenant governor are running together for the first time in South Carolina this year in a change approved by voters in 2012. The lieutenant governor, who had been elected separately, is expected to have a role like the vice president, acting a surrogate for the governor and work on specific projects.
Columbia Rep. James Smith, another Democrat running for governor, is expected to announce fellow lawmaker, Mandy Powers Norrell, as his lieutenant governor choice at a campaign event today in Norrell's hometown of Lancaster.
The other Democrat in the race, Florence attorney Marguerite Willis, already selected state Sen. John Scott of Columbia as her pick for lieutenant governor.
Among the five Republicans running for governor, only Gov. Henry McMaster has named a running mate. He chose Travelers Rest businesswoman Pamela Evette last fall.
Andy Shain, with The Post and Courier, contributed to this article.