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#SC2018: Partisan Primary Election Live Blog

Live updates from South Carolina’s “Day of Decision …”

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INSIGHTS, OUTCOMES … 

Welcome to our live blog of the 2018 partisan primary elections in South Carolina … the state James L. Petrigru once famously referred to as being “too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum.”

We suspect that reputation will be well-earned once again tonight.

If you’ve got something you’d like to share with us this election night, email us here.  You can also ping us via Twitter or Facebook.

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#SC2018 RESULTS

GOP GOVERNOR

HENRY McMASTER – 42.4 – (153,621) ** RUNOFF
JOHN WARREN – 27.7 – (100,317) *** RUNOFF
CATHERINE TEMPLETON – 21.4 – (77,537)
KEVIN BRYANT – 6.7 – (24,286)
YANCEY McGILL – 1.7 – (6,305)

(99 percent reporting)

DEM GOVERNOR

JAMES SMITH – 61.8 (145,925) * WINNER
MARGUERITE WILLIS – 27.5 (65,284)
PHIL NOBLE – 10.6 (25,249)

(99 percent reporting)

S.C. FIRST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

KATIE ARRINGTON – 50.5 (32,441) * WINNER
MARK SANFORD – 46.5 (29,899)
DIMITRI CHERNY – 3 (1,899)

(98 percent reporting)

S.C. FOURTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

LEE BRIGHT – 25 (16,085) ** RUNOFF
WILLIAM TIMMONS – 19.2 (12,310) ** RUNOFF
DAN HAMILTON – 18.6 (11,960)
JOSH KIMBRELL – 11.1 (7,118)
JAMES EPLEY – 8 (5,158)
STEPHEN BROWN – 7.6 (4,899)

(99 percent reporting)

GOP ATTORNEY GENERAL

ALAN WILSON – 48.6 (163,566) ** RUNOFF
TODD ATWATER – 29.8 (100,198) ** RUNOFF
WILLIAM HERLONG – 21.6 (72,752)

(99 percent reporting)

GOP SECRETARY OF STATE

MARK HAMMOND – 67.2 (215,027) *WINNER
JOSHUA PUTNAM – 13.3 (43,714)
NELSON FAERBER – 12.5 (40,875)
KERRY WOOD – 8.7 (28,552)

(99 percent reporting)

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#SC1: MARK SANFORD GOES DOWN

(Click to view)

(Via: Getty Images)

11:04 p.m. EDT: For the first time in his 24-year political career, Mark Sanford has lost an election …

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#SC2018: GOP GUBERNATORIAL RUNOFF SET

9:43 p.m. EDT: “Republicans” couldn’t settle it on the first ballot in South Carolina, and so the top two finishers in the GOP gubernatorial race – incumbent governor Henry McMaster and Upstate businessman John Warren – will go head-to-head in a runoff election on June 26.

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#SC2018: JAMES SMITH WINS DEMOCRATIC NOD

(Via: Provided)

9:01 p.m. EDT: Afghan War veteran and former S.C. House minority leader James Smith cruised to the Democratic gubernatorial nomination on Tuesday night, easily trouncing Florence, S.C. attorney Marguerite Willis and Charleston, S.C. businessman Phil Noble.  Smith’s decisive win comes as national “Republicans” sought to portray him as vulnerable – and as liberals within his own party decried him as too moderate.

We have to admit we are shocked by Smith’s showing … we thought he would win his party’s nomination, but believed he would have to navigate a runoff election first. Apparently not!

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#SC2018: FIRST CALL

8:25 p.m. EDT: First call of the night … incumbent “Republican” secretary of state Mark Hammond will be his party’s nominee for the fifth straight election cycle. Unreal. The absolute least qualified candidate on the ballot is the runaway winner. Go figure.

***

#SC2018: RACES TO WATCH

7:18 p.m. EDT: In addition to the statewide elections and the congressional races, here are a few local contests we will be keeping an eye on tonight …

Will powerful S.C. House ways and means chairman Brian White hang on to his seat in Anderson County?

Will embattled S.C. fifth circuit solicitor Dan Johnson win his party’s nomination with the threat of an indictment hanging over his head?

Will former state representative Donna Hicks reclaim the Spartanburg County seat she lost two years ago to former state representative Stephen Long?

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#SC2018: POLLS CLOSED

7:00 p.m. EDT: Polls in the Palmetto State are officially …

(Click to view)

(Via: Getty Images)

Unless you are standing in line waiting to vote, the 2018 partisan primary elections in South Carolina have officially become a historical event.

***

#SC1: GOOD TURNOUT FOR KATIE ARRINGTON?

6:44 p.m. EDT: We are hearing reports from the South Carolina Lowcountry indicating that turnout in freshman state representative Katie Arrington’s backyard is “incredibly higher” than it has been in previous elections – including as high as 30 percent in Summerville, S.C. (her hometown).

Arrington is in a dogfight with #NeverTrump “Republican” Mark Sanford, who hasn’t lost an election in a quarter century as a professional politician.

Will today be the day that streak ends? 

We called this race a week ago as a nail biter … looks like we were right.

***

#SC2018: VOTING BOOTH

6:33 p.m. EDT: State representative Mandy Powers Norrell casts her ballot in Lancaster, S.C. earlier today.  Norrell is the running mate of Afghan War veteran and former S.C. minority leader James Smith, the favorite to win the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

(Click to view)

(Via: Twitter)

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#SCGOV: BIG BOY PANTS

6:30 p.m. EDT: Looks like S.C. governor Henry McMaster wore his “big boy pants” to go vote today …

(Click to view)

(Via: Twitter)

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#SC2018: STATUS CHECK

6:00 p.m. EDT: One hour until polls close and the question on everyone’s mind is …

(Click to view)

(Via: Provided)

Our guess is not everyone will like the answers they receive …

***

#SC2018: ATTORNEY GENERAL NEWS

(Via: Provided)

5:33 p.m. EDT: In close elections, every knot of boat speed matters.  Like this announcement from the office of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson less that four hours before polls close across the Palmetto State …

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force arrested 48 suspected child sex offenders in South Carolina as part of Operation Broken Heart.

“Internet predators continue to find new and innovative ways to prey upon our children and South Carolina is no exception,” said Attorney General Alan Wilson. “We must continue to expand our efforts to not only investigate and prosecute these crimes, but educate parents and youth on how they can be more vigilant and safe using technology.

Polls show Wilson with a healthy lead over his two challengers in this race, state representative Todd Atwater and Greenville, S.C. attorney William Herlong.  So why do we say it’s a “close election?”  Because at this point Wilson is competing with himself to clear the critical fifty percent plus one threshold that would enable him to avoid a runoff election against either Atwater or Herlong.

***

#SCGOV: THE McGILLS

5:05 p.m. EDT: If you haven’t been following the saga surrounding John McGill and his wife Jenny McGill (a.k.a. #TheMcGills), you need to.  Stat.  Of all the stories we have covered in our dozen years in the Palmetto political circus, none is crazier than this one.

Anyway, we suspect this particular tweet from Jenny McGill will generate some responses …

That’s right … McGill voted for incumbent “Republican” governor Henry McMaster over her father-in-law, former lieutenant governor Yancey McGill.

***

#SC1: DONALD TRUMP WEIGHS IN

4:14 p.m. EDT: U.S. president Donald Trump has just endorsed Katie Arrington over Mark Sanford in the race for South Carolina’s first congressional district …

***

#SC4: CANINE CAMPAIGNING

4:05 p.m. EDT: In the race for South Carolina’s fourth congressional district, “Stark” has officially backed Upstate corporate chieftess Shannon Pierce

Wise move, Stark. Wise move.

***

#SCGOV PARTY PLANS: CATHERINE TEMPLETON 

4:00 p.m. EDT: Election night plans have been released for GOP gubernatorial candidate Catherine Templeton

(Via: Provided)

Templeton is fighting hard as the campaign draws to a close to earn a spot in a “Republican” runoff election against incumbent Henry McMaster.

***

CRYSTAL BALL

(Via: Getty Images)

3:50 p.m. EDT: Our founding editor Will Folks weighs in …

I predict both the Republican and Democratic gubernatorial races will go to runoffs, with Henry McMaster (43 percent) and John Warren (26 percent) advancing on the GOP side and James Smith (48 percent) and Marguerite Willis (31 percent) moving forward on the Democrat side.  I’m also predicting a GOP runoff in the fourth congressional district between Lee Bright (22 percent) and Dan Hamilton (17 percent).  In the first congressional district, I predict Katie Arrington pulls off an upset win over Mark Sanford – drawing 52 percent of the GOP vote.

Stay tuned to see if he is correct!

***

#SC4: MAILBOX-GATE?

(Via: Provided)

3:40 p.m. EDT: S.C. state senator William Timmons is catching some heat for hanging political propaganda on voters’ mailboxes in the Palmetto State’s fourth congressional district.

According to conservative activist Mitchell Gunter, hanging posters on residents’ private mailboxes is not only a nuisance, it is illegal.  In fact he has whipped out Section 508
3.1.3 of the United States Postal Service (USPS) Domestic Mail Manual to prove his point …

Except under 3.2.11, the receptacles described in 3.1.1 may be used only for matter bearing postage. Other than as permitted by 3.2.10, or 3.2.11, no part of a mail receptacle may be used to deliver any matter not bearing postage, including items or matter placed upon, supported by, attached to, hung from, or inserted into a mail receptacle. Any mailable matter not bearing postage and found as described above is subject to the same postage as would be paid if it were carried by mail.

Chapter and verse, people … chapter and verse.

“Furthermore, aside from violating mail code, hanging political posters rooting for any particular candidate on private mailboxes creates a false impression of support to neighbors and passerby alike,” Gunter added.

***

#SC2018: EARLY VOTING BREAKDOWN

(Via: Getty Images)

3:18 p.m. EDT: In case you missed our post on it, Democrats surprised “Republicans” by narrowly besting them in early voting front this year.  According to early vote totals released by the S.C. Election Commission (SCVotes.org) this week, 28,416 early ballots.  That’s an 81.9 percent increase over the party’s early-voting totals from the 2014 primary.  By contrast, there were 26,599 GOP early voters – a comparatively small uptick of 12.7 percent from four years ago.

Democrats posted huge gains in Greenville County – attracting 1,521 early voters compared to just 227 four years ago (a 570 percent increase).  They also saw huge bumps in heavily populated Orangeburg County (355 to 1,616, or 355 percent higher), Beaufort County (379 to 1,294, or 241 percent higher), Charleston County (590 to 1,940, or 228 percent higher) and Richland County (1,162 to 3,572, or 207 percent higher).

To view the data for yourself, click here.

***

#SC4: EARLY EXIT POLLING

3:15 p.m. EDT: The group Politically Epic has done some exit polling in the crowded, contentious race for South Carolina’s fourth congressional district.

Here is what they say they have found …

Dan Albert – <2
Lee Bright – 20
Stephen Brown – 7
Mark Burns – <1
James Epley – 17
Dan Hamilton – 18
Josh Kimbrell – 11
John Marshall Mosser – <1
Shannon Pierce – 7
Justin David Sanders – <1
Claude Schmid – <1
William Timmons – 15

***

#SC4 PARTY PLANS: JOSH KIMBRELL

(Via: Facebook)

2:33 p.m. EDT: Upstate radio host Josh Kimbrell and his wife Liliya Kimbrell will gather with his supporters at Saskatoon Steaks Fish and Wild Game in Greenville, S.C. tonight (map).  His party kicks off at 6:30 p.m. EDT.  Kimbrell is among the dozen “Republican” candidates looking to replace Trey Gowdy in the Palmetto State’s fourth congressional district.

***

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Banner: Getty


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