Jun 13, 2018
South Carolina Primary Election Recap
Governor and Lieutenant Governor
On June 12, Gov. Henry McMaster (R) faced multiple
challengers for the Republican nomination for governor and will face a
despite having the endorsement of President Donald Trump.
McMaster will face
John Warren, a Marine veteran and political newcomer, on June 26 in the primary
runoff. Warren is the founder and CEO of Lima One Capital, a real estate
Catherine Templeton, an attorney from Mount Pleasant, both mounted high-dollar campaigns as
political “outsiders” against McMaster.
Templeton previously served the state as the director of the Department of
Labor and Licensing and the Department of Health and Environmental Control
under former Gov. Nikki Haley. Templeton came in a close third, assisting
Warren in forcing the runoff.
Neither Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant nor Yancey McGill, a former
Democrat who also served as lieutenant governor, received 10 percent of the
Rep. James Smith (D-Richland) and Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell (D-Lancaster) will represent
Democrats this fall on the statewide ballot.
Smith, a combat veteran and attorney, announced Powers Norrell, a Lancaster
attorney, as his running mate in early May. Smith easily defeated both of
his primary opponents, Florence attorney
and Charleston businessman
In 2012, the state’s voters passed a ballot referendum to allow the
governor and lieutenant governor to run on the same ticket, beginning with
the 2018 statewide election. After much debate, the legislature finally
agreed on how to implement the ballot referendum this spring, just before
the 2018 candidate filing period opened.
Attorney General Alan Wilson
(R) faced two primary
challengers on June 12, and will face Rep. Todd Atwater
(R-Lexington), a Lexington attorney, in the June 26 runoff. Wilson was just
shy of reaching the required 50 percent to win the nomination.
The winner of the Republican runoff will face Constance Anastopoulo in
the general election this fall. Anastopoulo, a litigator and professor at
the Charleston School of Law, announced her intention to seek office the
day before the March 30 filing deadline, and faced no primary opposition.
Secretary of State
Incumbent Mark Hammond (R) easily won the Republican
nomination for secretary of state, holding off three challengers, and will
face Democrat Melvin Whittenburg in the general election this fall.
Both Republican and Democratic primary ballots featured advisory questions.
On the Democratic ballot, voters were asked if they support a state law
allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients. Voters were
also asked if they support a state law requiring the governor of South
Carolina to accept all federal revenues offered to support Medicaid and
Medicare expansion efforts in the state.
The Republican ballot asked if voters should have the option to affiliate
with a political party when they register to vote or change their voter
registration. The Republican ballot also asked if the South Carolina tax
code should be updated to conform with the president’s new tax code, “for
maximum simplification and to lower the overall tax burden on South
Carolina taxpayers and businesses.”
Although not binding, all four advisory questions received generous support
from each party’s voters.
South Carolina House of Representatives
Seven incumbents do not seek re-election this year: Rep.Mike Anthony (D-Union); Rep. Katie Arrington (R-Dorchestor), who is running for
Congress; Rep. Derham Cole (R-Spartanburg); House
Judiciary Chairman Greg Delleney (R-Chester); Rep. Dan Hamilton (R-Greenville), who is running for Congress;
Rep. James Smith (D-Richland), who is running for
governor; and Rep. Joshua Putnam (R-Anderson), who is
running for secretary of state. No Democrat filed for election to Rep.
Anthony’s seat; therefore, the seat will flip parties in 2018.
Forty-four incumbents, 19 Democrats and 24 Republicans do not face
opposition, including Speaker Jay Lucas (R-Darlington).
However, 16 incumbents face both primary and general election opposition,
including House Ways and Means Chairman Brian White
(R-Anderson). Of the 16 incumbents with primary and general election
opposition, 11 are Republicans.
Fifty-seven of the House’s 124 seats will face general election opposition
this fall; currently, Republicans hold 40 of those 57 seats. Many House
leaders will face general election opposition this fall. House Labor,
Commerce and Industry Chairman Bill Sandifer (R-Oconee)
will face a Democratic opponent in November, and Rep.Peter McCoy (R-Charleston) and Rep. Russell Ott (D-Calhoun), leadership of the House Utility
Ratepayer Protection Committee, both face general election opposition. For
a full list of candidates, please click
The following incumbents were defeated in the Jun. 12 primaries and will
not return to the State House this fall:
(R-Greenville), District 21, was defeated by
, who will be elected this fall, as he faces no general election
(D-Fairfield), District 41, was defeated by
, who will likely win the seat this fall against Independent Fred
(D-Hampton), District 122, was defeated by
, who will be elected to the position this fall, as he faces no general
Challenger William Bailey currently leads Rep. Greg Duckworth (R-Horry) for the District 104 Republican
nomination, but the race will likely go to a recount before being
The following incumbents will head to a runoff on June 26:
(R-Pickens), District 5, will face Allan Quinn to determine the winner
of the seat, as there is no general election opposition in the fall.
(D-Richland), District 77, will face
(R-Charleston), District 110, will face Russell Guerard; the winner
will face Democrat Ben Pogue this fall.
The following incumbents defeated their primary challenges and will be
re-elected this fall, due to no general election opposition:
Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Chairman David Hiott (R-Pickens), District 4
(R-Anderson), District 7
(R-Anderson), District 8
(R-Greenville), District 18
(R-Greenville), District 27
(R-Spartanburg), District 33
(R-Spartanburg), District 37
(R-Spartanburg), District 38
(D- Dillon), District 55
Dr. Robert Ridgeway (D-Clarendon), District 64
(R-Richland), District 71
Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Chairman Leon Howard (D-Richland), District 76
(R-Lexington), District 89
(R-Dorchester), District 98
(D-Williamsburg), District 101
(D-Georgetown), District 103
The following incumbents defeated their primary challenges but still face
general election opposition:
Ways and Means Chairman Brian White (R-Anderson),
(R-Abbeville), District 11
(R-Berkeley), District 15
(R-Greenville), District 17
(R-Greenville), District 22
(D-Greenville), District 25
(D-Darlington), District 62
(D-Orangeburg), District 95
(R-Lexington), District 96
(R-Berkeley), District 100
(R-Charleston), District 112
(R-Beaufort), District 123
Adam Morgan, a Greenville attorney, defeated Bobby Davis in the Republican
primary for District 20. Morgan will face no opposition in the general
election and therefore will replace Rep. Dan Hamilton
(R-Greenville), who did not run for re-election in order to pursue election
to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Max Hyde defeated O’Neal Mintz to win the Republican primary for District
32, where Rep. Derham Cole (R-Spartanburg) did not seek
re-election. Hyde will not face general election opposition this fall.
Doug Gilliam won the Republican primary for District 42, the seat of
retiring Democrat Rep. Mike Anthony (D-Union). Gilliam
will be elected this fall, as he will not face general election opposition
Randy Ligon defeated Joe Tate in the Republican primary for District 43,
the seat of retiring House Judiciary Chairman Greg Delleney (R-Chester). Ligon will face Democrat Tom
Hawk this fall.
Paula Rawl Calhoon and Todd Carnes will head to a runoff on June 26 to
determine the winner of the Republican primary for District 87, the seat of
retiring Rep. Todd Atwater (R-Lexington). The winner will
face Democrat Diane Summers in the general election this fall. Rep. Atwater
did not seek re-election, in order to pursue the Republican nomination for
attorney general. He heads to a runoff with Attorney General Alan Wilson on
June 26, as well.
Con Chellis won the Republican primary for District 95, the seat of Rep. Katie Arrington (R-Dorchester). Chellis will face Democrat
Damian Daly in the general election this fall. Rep. Arrington did not seek
re-election, in order to pursue the Republican nomination for the U.S.
House of Representatives 1st District seat, which she won.
Rep. Patsy Knight (D-Dorchester), Brandon Newton (R-Lancaster) and Rep. Robert Brown (D-Charleston) all face opposition this fall.
Knight will face Mandy Kimmons in District 97 after Kimmons won the
Republican primary. Newton will face Corin Buskey in District 45, and Brown
will face Carroll O’Neal in District 116, now that O’Neal defeated Charles
Glover in the Republican primary.
South Carolina Senate
The Senate will have only a special election this year, due to the
in early June of veteran Sen. John Courson (R) after he
pled guilty to one count of misconduct in office as a result of the state’s
ongoing ethics probe led by special prosecutor David Pascoe.
Candidate filing for the seat opens on June 22, and closes at noon on June
30. If necessary, a primary will be held Aug. 14, and the final two years
of the term will be filled Nov. 6 during the state’s general election.
Rep. Katie Arrington
U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford (R) for the Republican nomination
in the 1st Congressional District. President Donald Trump
an endorsement for Rep. Arrington late in the day, pushing last-minute
voters to vote against Rep. Sanford. Joe Cunningham, a Charleston attorney,
defeated Toby Smith in the Democratic primary and will face Arrington this
In the 2nd District, Sean Carrigan and Annabelle Robertson will head to a
on June 26 for the Democratic nomination. The winner will face U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R) this fall.
Mary Geren defeated Hosea Cleveland to win the Democratic nomination in the
3rd Congressional District and will face U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R) this fall.
Sen. William Timmons (R), Rep. Dan Hamilton (R) and former state Sen. Lee Bright were
among 13 Republican candidates vying for the nomination for the 4th
Congressional District, the seat of retiring U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy. Bright, who received the most votes, will face
Timmons in a June 26
to determine the Republican nominee. Brandon Brown and Doris Lee Turner
will also head to a runoff for the Democratic nomination.
Embattled Democrat Archie Parnell
defeated three other candidates to win the Democratic nomination in the 5th
Congressional District and will face U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman (R) this fall.
U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D) did not face primary opposition
but will face Republican Gerhard Gressmann, an ordained minister in the
Southern Baptist Church, this fall.
In the 7th Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Tom Rice (R)
defeated challenger Larry Hammond in the primary. Mal Hyman and Rep. Robert Williams head to a June 26
to determine the Democratic nomination for the seat.
Fifth Circuit Solicitor (Richland and Kershaw Counties)
handily defeated incumbent Dan Johnson for the Democratic nomination for
Fifth Circuit Solicitor, representing Richland and Kershaw Counties.
Johnson is weathering investigations by the FBI and State Law Enforcement
Division (SLED) regarding the use of official funds for personal use.
Gipson will likely win this fall, barring a successful write-in campaign.