With the State GOP Convention this weekend in Columbia, look for several formal announcements over the next few days.

Up first appears to be Representative Ted Pitts who will announce his intentions to run for Lt. Governor tomorrow on the internet at 10:00 a.m. I’m planning on watching this because, for starters, I’m friends with Ted and also I like the use of the internet and “new media”.

Nathan’s News readers might remember several months ago I mentioned the possible candidates for Lt. Governor. While Ted is up first, he may soon be joined by another friend of mine, former Representative Ralph Norman . To date the only announced candidate is Republican Bill Connor .

What other announcements could be coming?

For months it’s been assumed current Lt. Governor Andre Bauer as well as Attorney General Henry McMaster will run for Governor. Could this be the week they officially kick off their campaigns? So far, the only announced Republican gubernatorial candidates are current US Representative Greshman Barrett and Furman professor Brent Nelson . The only announced Democratic candidates? Senator Vincent Sheehan (D-Kershaw) and attorney Mullins McLeod .

Who else may run for the state’s top spot?

Lately my desk mate, Representative Nikki Haley , has been in the news with much speculation that an announcement is inevitable . Then there’s Senator Larry Grooms who has apparently announced he will announce soon.

The Democrats considering the top spot? Rumors have been circling that they may look to current House Minority Leader Harry Ott (D-Calhoun) to take back the Governor’s Mansion and make for a three-way primary with Sheehen and McLeod.

Most consultants will tell you SC is still a strong Republican leaning state (Jim Rex being the only Democratic statewide office holder) but could that change this year?

Some other names floating around for statewide offices are: Senator Darrell Jackson , Representative Jerry Govan , Representative Laurie Funderburk (all Democrats considering Lt. Governor bid?).

Should current Attorney General Henry McMaster run for Governor, look for Alan Wilson (US Representative Joe Wilson’s son) and possibly Judiciary Chairman Jim Harrison (R-Richland) to consider a run for the state’s top legal post.

The field is starting to take shape for most statewide spots and with fundraising a big obstacle during these economic times, the sooner you start the better your chances of gathering the dollars needed for these expensive races.

I’m sure there’s another surprise out there. Secretary of State? State Treasurer? If you hear of something feel free to share.

It’s obvious there will be some spirited primaries on both sides for several statewide offices and it will be very interesting to see who’s left standing to carry the mantle of each party come November 2010.

Will it be “politics as usual” or could candidates start focusing on “people, not politics”?

Not to get lost in all this, should be the much expected election of Karen Floyd as the new Chairman of the SC GOP .