South Carolina Primary Election Recap

June 13, 2018

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Governor and Lieutenant Governor

On June 12, Gov. Henry McMaster (R) faced multiplechallengers for the Republican nomination for governor and will face arunoffdespite having the endorsement of President Donald Trump.

McMaster will faceJohn Warren, a Marine veteran and political newcomer, on June 26 in the primaryrunoff. Warren is the founder and CEO of Lima One Capital, a real estateinvestment company.

Warren andCatherine Templeton, an attorney from Mount Pleasant, both mounted high-dollar campaigns aspolitical “outsiders” against McMaster.

Templeton previously served the state as the director of the Department ofLabor and Licensing and the Department of Health and Environmental Controlunder former Gov. Nikki Haley. Templeton came in a close third, assistingWarren in forcing the runoff.

Neither Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant nor Yancey McGill, a formerDemocrat who also served as lieutenant governor, received 10 percent of thevote.

Rep. James Smith (D-Richland) and Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell (D-Lancaster) will representDemocrats this fall on the statewide ballot.Smith, a combat veteran and attorney, announced Powers Norrell, a Lancasterattorney, as his running mate in early May. Smith easily defeated both ofhis primary opponents, Florence attorneyMarguerite Willisand Charleston businessmanPhil Noble.

In 2012, the state’s voters passed a ballot referendum to allow thegovernor and lieutenant governor to run on the same ticket, beginning withthe 2018 statewide election. After much debate, the legislature finallyagreed on how to implement the ballot referendum this spring, just beforethe 2018 candidate filing period opened.


Attorney General

Attorney General Alan Wilson (R) faced two primarychallengers on June 12, and will face Rep. Todd Atwater(R-Lexington), a Lexington attorney, in the June 26 runoff. Wilson was justshy of reaching the required 50 percent to win the nomination.

The winner of the Republican runoff will face Constance Anastopoulo inthe general election this fall. Anastopoulo, a litigator and professor atthe Charleston School of Law, announced her intention to seek office theday before the March 30 filing deadline, and faced no primary opposition.

Secretary of State

Incumbent Mark Hammond (R) easily won the Republicannomination for secretary of state, holding off three challengers, and willface 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 lawallowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients. Voters werealso asked if they support a state law requiring the governor of SouthCarolina to accept all federal revenues offered to support Medicaid andMedicare expansion efforts in the state.

The Republican ballot asked if voters should have the option to affiliatewith a political party when they register to vote or change their voterregistration. The Republican ballot also asked if the South Carolina taxcode should be updated to conform with the president’s new tax code, “formaximum simplification and to lower the overall tax burden on SouthCarolina taxpayers and businesses.”

Although not binding, all four advisory questions received generous supportfrom 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 forCongress; Rep. Derham Cole (R-Spartanburg); HouseJudiciary Chairman Greg Delleney (R-Chester); Rep. Dan Hamilton (R-Greenville), who is running for Congress;Rep. James Smith (D-Richland), who is running forgovernor; and Rep. Joshua Putnam (R-Anderson), who isrunning 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 faceopposition, 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 electionopposition, 11 are Republicans.

Fifty-seven of the House’s 124 seats will face general election oppositionthis fall; currently, Republicans hold 40 of those 57 seats. Many Houseleaders 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 UtilityRatepayer Protection Committee, both face general election opposition. Fora full list of candidates, please clickhere.

The following incumbents were defeated in the Jun. 12 primaries and willnot 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 Republicannomination, but the race will likely go to a recount before beingcertified.

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 bere-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 facegeneral 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 Republicanprimary for District 20. Morgan will face no opposition in the generalelection and therefore will replace Rep. Dan Hamilton(R-Greenville), who did not run for re-election in order to pursue electionto the U.S. House of Representatives.

Max Hyde defeated O’Neal Mintz to win the Republican primary for District32, where Rep. Derham Cole (R-Spartanburg) did not seekre-election. Hyde will not face general election opposition this fall.

Doug Gilliam won the Republican primary for District 42, the seat ofretiring Democrat Rep. Mike Anthony (D-Union). Gilliamwill be elected this fall, as he will not face general election oppositionthis 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 TomHawk this fall.

Paula Rawl Calhoon and Todd Carnes will head to a runoff on June 26 todetermine the winner of the Republican primary for District 87, the seat ofretiring Rep. Todd Atwater (R-Lexington). The winner willface Democrat Diane Summers in the general election this fall. Rep. Atwaterdid not seek re-election, in order to pursue the Republican nomination forattorney general. He heads to a runoff with Attorney General Alan Wilson onJune 26, as well.

Con Chellis won the Republican primary for District 95, the seat of Rep. Katie Arrington (R-Dorchester). Chellis will face DemocratDamian Daly in the general election this fall. Rep. Arrington did not seekre-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 theRepublican primary. Newton will face Corin Buskey in District 45, and Brownwill face Carroll O’Neal in District 116, now that O’Neal defeated CharlesGlover in the Republican primary.

South Carolina Senate

The Senate will have only a special election this year, due to theresignationin early June of veteran Sen. John Courson (R) after hepled guilty to one count of misconduct in office as a result of the state’songoing ethics probe led by special prosecutor David Pascoe.

Candidate filing for the seat opens on June 22, and closes at noon on June30. If necessary, a primary will be held Aug. 14, and the final two yearsof the term will be filled Nov. 6 during the state’s general election.

U.S. Congress

Rep. Katie ArringtondefeatedU.S. Rep. Mark Sanford (R) for the Republican nominationin the 1st Congressional District. President Donald Trumptweetedan endorsement for Rep. Arrington late in the day, pushing last-minutevoters to vote against Rep. Sanford. Joe Cunningham, a Charleston attorney,defeated Toby Smith in the Democratic primary and will face Arrington thisfall.

In the 2nd District, Sean Carrigan and Annabelle Robertson will head to arunoffon 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 the3rd 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 wereamong 13 Republican candidates vying for the nomination for the 4thCongressional District, the seat of retiring U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy. Bright, who received the most votes, will faceTimmons in a June 26runoffto determine the Republican nominee. Brandon Brown and Doris Lee Turnerwill also head to a runoff for the Democratic nomination.

Embattled Democrat Archie Parnelldefeated three other candidates to win the Democratic nomination in the 5thCongressional District and will face U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman (R) this fall.

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D) did not face primary oppositionbut will face Republican Gerhard Gressmann, an ordained minister in theSouthern 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 26runoffto determine the Democratic nomination for the seat.

Fifth Circuit Solicitor (Richland and Kershaw Counties)

Byron Gipsonhandily defeated incumbent Dan Johnson for the Democratic nomination forFifth Circuit Solicitor, representing Richland and Kershaw Counties.Johnson is weathering investigations by the FBI and State Law EnforcementDivision (SLED) regarding the use of official funds for personal use.Gipson will likely win this fall, barring a successful write-in campaign.