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First Official Count: Kirkman Finlay Wins




Republican Kirkman Finlay has defeated Democrat Joe McCulloch in the race for S.C. House District 75 – one of only a handful of competitive races for the S.C. General Assembly this year.

According to the first official count provided by the Richland County (S.C.) Election Commission, Finlay received 7,207 votes (51.1 percent) to McCulloch’s 6,891 votes (48.8 percent).  That’s basically an eight-point swing from a week ago, when the Associated Press reported that Finlay had lost the race by a 53-47 percent margin.

Polling provided to FITS in advance of last week’s vote showed Finlay besting McCulloch by a much wider margin – which in our book constitutes further proof that turnout in more conservative Richland County precincts was suppressed last week in an effort to ensure passage of a controversial $1.2 billion county sales tax hike.

How’d that happen?  Well, predominantly Republican precincts all across Richland County were not provided with a sufficient number of voting machines – a flagrant violation of state law.  As a result thousands of registered voters – most of them likely planning to vote against the tax increase – were subjected to wait times ranging as long as four to seven hours, prompting many of them to give up their quest to vote.

(For more on that story, click here).

Given that Finlay’s victory margin would have probably been wider had there not been such widespread voter fraud, Democrats don’t appear to be interested in challenging these results.

“Congrats to Finlay,” one Democratic staffer told FITS in response to the first official count being released.