In a mass e-mail, the congressman whose district covers part of this area said: "The one question that I received over and over again when I was talking with my friends and family about running was, 'Why do you want to be Governor?'
"My answer is really very simple:
"I believe South Carolina has tremendous potential, despite our serious challenges."
Mr. Barrett, 48, wants to replace Republican Gov. Mark Sanford, who can't run for a third term because of term limits.
The next governor, Mr. Barrett said, needs to emphasize economic development, spur energy production and revamp education.