Despite being one ass back from the head of the pack in the race for the governorship of South Carolina — U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett is the dog to beat in this race — Henry McMaster has a few strikes against him.

One, he was until very, very recently a member of a whites-only country club (as was 1st District candidate Tumpy Campbell and former SC GOP head Katon Dawson).

Two, he’s an attorney general, and those guys never get elected to the top spot in the state. (See, Charlie Condon, Martha Coakley)

Three, he believes the governor’s office is located in Washington, D.C. Or so one would believe if they read the most recent missive from his campaign.

In an official release from the McMaster campaign that hit the interwebs today, Upstate Sen. Mike Fair lays out his reasons for supporting McMaster.

Now before anybody starts bitching about the fact that these are Fair’s words not McMaster, remember that this press release came from the McMaster campaign. They approved it, and McMaster approved it.

So without further ado, here’s Sen. Mike Fair speaking on behalf of the McMaster campaign:

I want to share what’s on my heart with you and tell you why I am backing Henry McMaster for governor.

I have spent my years in public service advocating for conservative fiscal and social principles.

I believe in limited government, low taxes and free enterprise.

But I also believe that fiscal responsibility is not enough. If our social and cultural laws drift from time-proven Judeo-Christian principles, then America will collapse into a heap of moral relativist chaos.

I fear we are closer to that than most people believe, and it’s being driven by the Washington political elites, whose thirst for messianic power is astonishing.

Everything they have tried to do—from failed, bankrupting bailouts to socialized health care— promotes big government at the expense of individual freedom.

The last line of defense against this power grab rests in the states where the people’s voice is still heard.

And South Carolina needs Henry McMaster to lead our state in these troubled times.

He is a fiscal conservative and the ONLY candidate to offer a plan to get our state’s economy moving again.

As importantly, he fights for traditional values. He is pro-life and pro-family.

Ronald Reagan had so much confidence in Henry that he made Henry his first U. S. Attorney appointment.

As Attorney General, Henry has fought the ACLU and defended our right to pray in public. He led the constitutional campaign for traditional marriage. He confronted the Craigslist prostitution ring. And he is fighting to protect the “I Believe” license plates.

No one intimidates Henry.

He stood alone in condemning the “Cornhusker Kickback” that Harry Reid used to bribe Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson into voting for socialized healthcare. Henry organized 15 state attorneys general and threatened to sue Congress, even after Senator Nelson called Henry demanding that he back down.

Now Henry has put together a coalition of 15 states that are ready to go to court unless Congress pulls the plug on this un-democratic backroom deal.

While many Republican congressmen wrung their hands and made empty speeches, Henry McMaster forged a fortress to protect the American people. He is taking on Obama, Reid and Pelosi straight up.

That’s leadership, that’s courage, that’s character. And that’s the kind of governor we need. I ask you to join me in supporting Henry McMaster for governor.