A contentious special election for the South Carolina House of Representatives has cleared its first hurdle.
Earlier this week, conservative businesswoman Melissa Lackey Oremus and small business owner Alvin Padgett advanced to a runoff election in five-way GOP primary race for S.C. House District 84 (map) – a seat which was vacated earlier this year following the death of state representative Ronnie Young.
No Democrats filed for the seat, meaning the contest now boils down to a head-to-head battle between Oremus – who has been endorsed by several conservative groups – and Padgett.
In the first round of voting, Oremus drew 699 votes (or 30.9 percent of all ballots cast). Padgett drew 528 votes (or 23.4 percent of ballots).
Padgett’s performance was good enough to best third-place finisher Cody Anderson (460 votes – 20.4 percent), fourth-place finisher Danny Feagin (432 votes – 19.1 percent) and fifth-place finisher Ralph Gunter (130 votes – 5.75 percent).
In partisan primary races in South Carolina, if no candidate receives a majority of votes on the first ballot a runoff election between the top two vote-getters is held two weeks later.
That election will be held on Tuesday, August 13, 2019.
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While Oremus (above) enters the final two-week sprint with an obvious advantage, anything can happen in special elections.
This race is taking place during the dog days of summer, which means both Republican finalists will have to work harder than usual to get their core supporters back to the polls one more time.
This news outlet likes what we have seen of Oremus, however we did not issue an endorsement during the primary. Hopefully we will hear from both of the surviving candidates prior to the runoff election – at which point we may decide to lend one of them our imprimatur.
Stay tuned …
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