S.C. gubernatorial hopeful Bauer says he's learned from mistakes

Though he has spent the past 14 years holding public office, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer says the public still does not know who he really is.

Bauer, 41, has served in the S.C. House and S.C. Senate and two terms as lieutenant governor, but he said the headlines about plane crashes, driving violations and comparing the poor to "stray animals" mean many voters have gotten the wrong impression.

"Not the ones that haven't met me," Bauer said of whether voters have an accurate idea of him. "If I had to vote for Andre Bauer based on what the media said I'm not sure I'd vote for him."

Among the four Republicans running for governor — U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett, state Rep. Nikki Haley of Lexington and Attorney General Henry McMaster — polls show Bauer is among the most well-known candidate.

But that may also be Bauer's weakness, as many connect him with being pulled over, but not ticketed, for driving 101 mph on Interstate 77 near Chester in 2006. In 2003 Bauer was pulled over for running two red lights in downtown Columbia and charged with reckless driving. He later pleaded guilty to two lesser charges and paid a fine.

Bauer said he has learned from those mistakes, matured and maintained a clean driving record. But a February Winthrop University poll and a December Public Policy Polling survey found more of those surveyed viewed Bauer unfavorably than favorably.

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