State House

SC Freedom Caucus Holds Off ‘Republican’ Establishment

Conservative wing of SCGOP supermajority beats back establishment onslaught …

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Targeted by a seven-figure smear campaign orchestrated by South Carolina’s uniparty leaders and their special interest allies, the Palmetto State’s nascent Freedom Caucus not only survived the onslaught – it managed to take out several pro-establishment incumbents and add to its ranks.

Freedom Caucus members held onto their seats in the pivotal 2024 Republican primary election – and picked up several new seats thanks to the defeat of several high-profile status quo leaders.

While results were still trickling in late Tuesday evening, candidates endorsed by the caucus – and by this media outlet – ousted multiple powerful legislative leaders, including S.C. labor, commerce and industry committee (LCI) chairman Bill Sandifer (who was defeated by Adam Duncan) and assistant majority leader Jay West (who lost to Lee Gilreath).

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Meanwhile, nearly a dozen candidates targeted for defeat by allies of powerful speaker Murrell Smith – including Thomas Beach, Mike Burns, Bill Chumley, April Cromer, Rob Harris, Jay Kilmartin, Josiah Magnuson, RJ May III, Ryan McCabe, Alan Morgan and Joe White – all won reelection (most of them by convincing margins).

Freedom Caucus-backed candidates also won several battles for open seats – including a York County seat captured by Jackie Terribile and a Greenville County seat won by Stephen Frank.

In addition to the races decided on Tuesday night, multiple GOP primaries are headed to runoff elections on June 25, 2024 because no candidate received a majority of votes on the first ballot.

As of this writing, the Freedom Caucus appears poised to pick up at least three to four new seats in the S.C. House of Representatives, although that margin could expand following the runoff elections.

This is a developing story … please check back for updates …

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Travis Bell Photography)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and eight children.

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