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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 runoff 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 investment company.

Warren and 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 vote.

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 Marguerite Willis and Charleston businessman Phil Noble.

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

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.

Ballot Questions

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 here .

The following incumbents were defeated in the Jun. 12 primaries and will not return to the State House this fall:

  • Phyllis Henderson (R-Greenville), District 21, was defeated by Bobby Cox , who will be elected this fall, as he faces no general election opposition.
  • MaryGail Douglas (D-Fairfield), District 41, was defeated by Annie McDaniel , who will likely win the seat this fall against Independent Fred Kennedy.
  • Bill Bowers (D-Hampton), District 122, was defeated by Shedron Williams , who will be elected to the position this fall, as he faces no general election opposition.

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 certified.

The following incumbents will head to a runoff on June 26:

  • Neal Collins (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.
  • Joe McEachern (D-Richland), District 77, will face Kambrell Garvin .
  • William Cogswell (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
  • Jay West (R-Anderson), District 7
  • Jonathan Hill (R-Anderson), District 8
  • Tommy Stringer (R-Greenville), District 18
  • Garry Smith (R-Greenville), District 27
  • Eddie Tallon (R-Spartanburg), District 33
  • Steven Long (R-Spartanburg), District 37
  • Josiah Magnuson (R-Spartanburg), District 38
  • Jackie Hayes (D- Dillon), District 55
  • Dr. Robert Ridgeway (D-Clarendon), District 64
  • Nathan Ballentine (R-Richland), District 71
  • Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Chairman Leon Howard (D-Richland), District 76
  • Micah Caskey (R-Lexington), District 89
  • Chris Murphy (R-Dorchester), District 98
  • Cezar McKnight (D-Williamsburg), District 101
  • Carl Anderson (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), District 6
  • Craig Gagnon (R-Abbeville), District 11
  • Samuel Rivers (R-Berkeley), District 15
  • Mike Burns (R-Greenville), District 17
  • Jason Elliott (R-Greenville), District 22
  • Leola Robinson-Simpson (D-Greenville), District 25
  • Robert Williams (D-Darlington), District 62
  • Jerry Govan (D-Orangeburg), District 95
  • Kit Spires (R-Lexington), District 96
  • Sylleste Davis (R-Berkeley), District 100
  • Mike Sottile (R-Charleston), District 112
  • Jeff Bradley (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 this fall.

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 resignation 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.

U.S. Congress

Rep. Katie Arrington defeated U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford (R) for the Republican nomination in the 1st Congressional District. President Donald Trump tweeted 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 fall.

In the 2nd District, Sean Carrigan and Annabelle Robertson will head to a runoff 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 runoff 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 runoff to determine the Democratic nomination for the seat.

Fifth Circuit Solicitor (Richland and Kershaw Counties)

Byron Gipson 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.