GREENVILLE, S.C. -- South Carolina Governor McMaster is up against a handful of candidates in the upcoming gubernatorial primary. But what the other governor-hopefuls don't have is President Trump in their corner.

President Trump appeared at a fundraiser at the Embassy Suites in downtown Greenville Monday night. His visit marks his second trip to the Palmetto state since taking office.

McMaster was the first statewide elected official in the nation to endorse Donald Trump for president. Political expert Dr. Scott Huffmon describes the backing as a calculated risk.

“Donald Trump not only wasn’t a sure thing back then people would sure he will be out of it, so Henry McMaster took a risk and Donald Trump rewarded him for it,” Dr. Huffmon said.

While thousands were in attendance, several groups were in the area to protest, including the Greenville Black Lives Matter group.

Activist groups from across the state were there to demonstrate against the president at Greenville's Falls Park.

The South Carolina gubernatorial primary takes place June 2018.