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#SCRunoffs: Lee Bright Ousted From State Senate




S.C. Senator Lee Bright was ousted from the State Senate in a “Republican” runoff election on Tuesday night.

The controversial lawmaker was narrowly defeated by former S.C. Rep. Scott Talley – a fiscal liberal whose personal financial history is every bit as terrible as Bright’s (if you can imagine that).

Two weeks ago, Bright received 37.7 percent of the vote in a four-person field.  Talley got 26.5 percent.  Because no candidate received a majority of votes, the top two contenders faced off in a runoff election for S.C. Senate district 12 (map here).

This website did not think very highly of either candidate.

“Choosing between Bright and Talley to watch over the public treasury is like trying to decide whether to let a drunk or a stoner drive your kids carpool,” we wrote last week.

Voters in Greenville and Spartanburg counties didn’t seem especially enamored with the choice either – as only 5,514 of them bothered to show up for this election.  Talley recevied 2,788 of those votes – or 50.6 percent. Bright received 2,726 – or 49.4 percent.

If that count holds, it would fall just outside the one percent difference required to initiate a mandatory recount of ballots.

Our thoughts on this outcome?

Bright has been a reliable vote in the State Senate on financial issues, but his over-the-top sanctimoniousness and hypocrisy on social issues has rubbed many voters the wrong way.

Bright was one of four incumbent State Senators to lose a primary runoff election on Tuesday.  Powerful S.C. Senate judiciary chairman Larry Martin lost his reelection bid in Pickens county, as did Upstate social conservative Senator Mike Fair in Greenville and Democratic Senator Creighton Coleman in S.C. Senate district 17, which incorporates parts of Chester, Fairfield and York counties.