Penry Gustafson. Senator. District 27.
State House

‘Disgusted:’ GOP Senator Responds to Landslide Defeat

“I have some very mixed feelings about the Republican party …”

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An outgoing state senator claimed female incumbents — including her — were targeted for defeat ahead of this week’s GOP primary election. According to her, the outcomes — including her defeat — subsequently undermined a century’s worth of social and political advancements within the state’s powerful legislative branch.

On Wednesday, June 12, 2024, South Carolina senator Penry Gustafson conceded to Lancaster County councilman Allen Blackmon following her landslide defeat in the GOP primary for S.C. Senate District 27 the preceding evening.

While Gustafson bested Democratic incumbent Vincent Sheheen by approximately 900 votes to win the 2020 general election — a major upset that flipped this seat red — the incumbent Republican secured less than 18 percent of ballots cast within her freshly redrawn district in this year’s GOP primary.

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“I am disgusted with what I’ve witnessed,” Gustafson said on Wednesday. “I have some very mixed feelings about the Republican party. Do you think any of these opponents could have beaten Senator Vincent Sheheen? I opened the door for this district to become fully Red.”

One of three “sister senators” who banded together to block a near-total abortion ban in 2023, Gustafson alleged that she and two other senatorial incumbents — Sandy Senn and Katrina Shealy — were targeted for championing a woman’s ability to maintain control of their body after rape or incest.

As of this writing, Senn’s hotly contested race against state representative Matt Leber is heading toward an automatic recount on Friday, June 14, 2024, while Shealy must compete in a runoff election against attorney Carlisle Kennedy on June 25, 2024.

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“This is the result of little men who can’t be criticized,” Gustafson continued. “I will tell you that men are not going to lead any discussion about maternal health, sexual assault, child abuse, reproductive care, stalking or sex tracking. Who led those issues? Women.”

Gustafson was censured by the Kershaw County Republican Party (KCGOP) on July 6, 2023 after the executive committee determined she failed to uphold the party’s “foundational principles.” They furthermore endorsed her opponent on June 7, 2024.

Gustafson blamed the censure on one of her political rivals — Sheri Few of Lugoff, S.C.

“Only three of those votes were my constituents,” countered Gustafson. “Do you know who the [executive committeeman] for the KCGOP is? Sheri Few. I don’t have to say anything else … our internal, local GOP in Kershaw County has been imploding for years.”

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Sen. Penry Gustafson, left, and Sen. Katrina Shealy during the first day of session in Columbia, S.C. on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. (Travis Bell/STATEHOUSE CAROLINA)

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FITSNews has since reached out to sources within the KCGOP who responded as follows:

“The censure itself was issued a year ago. I do not believe it was a deciding factor … In speaking with constituents, the two main issues for Republican voters in Kershaw County were the candidate’s pro-life stances and the protection of our Second Amendment rights.”

Come June 11, 2024, Blackmon received 82.07 percent of the primary vote for District 27. Gustafson has since invited the councilman to “set aside his ego” and accept an invitation to visit her senatorial office for an in-depth review of outstanding issues.

“I really don’t want to attack anyone,” countered Blackmon on Wednesday. “And while I’m disappointed to hear these kinds of accusations laid out, I’d be more than happy to meet with Gustafson … I gotta’ give her credit for actually changing District 27 red.”

Count on FITSNews to keep our audience in the loop on the fate of Gustafson’s fellow “sister senators.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Andrew Fancher (Travis Bell)

Andrew Fancher is a Lone Star Emmy award-winning journalist from Dallas, Texas. Cut from a bloodline of outlaws and lawmen alike, he was the first of his family to graduate college which was accomplished with honors. Got a story idea or news tip for Andy? Email him directly and connect with him socially across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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16 comments

KC Voter June 14, 2024 at 11:16 am

Penry and others don’t grasp that there were other factors in play besides the abortion issue. Penry gamed her constituents greatly regarding the Constitutional Carry bill, both in 2024 and a few years ago. Penry has been known to be chummy with anti-2A Mom’s Demand Action. She pretended to work for Constituents who supported a clean bill as introduced in The House, yet participated in back room wheeling and dealing which allowed harmful amendments to be added, including one that elevated her and her cronies in The Senate and House above mere citizens, allowing Legislators unrestricted CWP carry. Penry never raised an objection, indicating she apparently believes she IS better than the peasants who elected her and pay her salary and benefits. The result was that the voters and Mr Blackmon handed her her substantial a – – at the polls, Tuesday.
She claimed that she helped get us Constitutional Carry when she was another obstacle, always trying to water it down.

Reply
GladSheIsGone June 14, 2024 at 4:37 pm

Obviously, honesty is not one of Gustafson’s strong points.

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Jeff Mattox Top fan June 14, 2024 at 1:54 pm

While Penry claims she “turned the seat red” the truth is a cow would have won that seat as the Trump wave swept across SC. She was and is a feminist terrorist who looks at every issue from the down trodden victimhood of being a woman, if she can even define what that is.
I would wager a fair amount her and her comrades in the senate would gladly push some sort of women’s affirmative action bill just to get back on the men that have held women back since we all lived in caves.
Good reddens to another in an endless list of nut jobs hell bent on using government to force their own agendas on everyone.
Ding Dong Goofoffison is gone.

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GladSheIsGone June 14, 2024 at 4:45 pm

People like her and Katrina Shealy seem to have a hatred for men. You have Katrina leading the pack, with constant attempts to force more government intervention into our daily lives, ostensibly “for the women”. Katrina wants another level of CDV charges that can be applied to middle and high schoolers who are dating. These charges have lifelong negative impacts on anyone found guilty, who pleads guilty, or pleads nolo contendre. Kids with raging hormones do stupid things. Katrina forgets that not only boys will suffer under this, but girls, too. Or has Katrina already thought of that and added wording that only males can be thusly charged?

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jbl1a June 14, 2024 at 8:28 pm

Well stated. I think she was trying to follow the lead of man hating feminist Katrina Shealy. If there is any doubt about what a man hater she is just listen to any of her little rants from the senate floor. As far as Gustafson she did it to herself. Her first vote on the open carry with permission bill got her blasted so hard she had to delete all her FB pages and start over. Good riddance. Shealy you’re next

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Observer (the real one) June 15, 2024 at 3:45 am

Great post, jbl1a! I am LMAO at posts on Katrina’s Facebook page. People making rightful ridicule of the other political goofs endorsing one of their own (her). One poster correctly noted that we don’t care what her crony from Spartanburg thinks. Another posted a gif with “Show Katrina The Door”.

Hopefully, Katrina and her feminist, man-hating, style has finally played out with Lexington County voters.

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jbl1a June 16, 2024 at 6:49 am

Observer (the real one), you’re not the only one, Katrina has an ego problem, a serious one. So much so she won’t quit cause of all the good she’s doing for women and children…lmao. She needs to just quit. Something changed with her and it was not for the better. People need to get back out in the primary and vote for Kennedy to dethrone the man hater

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Dum Spiro Spero Top fan June 14, 2024 at 3:30 pm

If women want to make positive changes regarding their status in South Carolina: political, economic, medical, domestic, or otherwise, they need to elect more female officeholders who can empathize with the needs of their gender. To do this they have to vote for other women who share their goals. This they continue to fail to do. There are 3.25 registered voters in S.C. Women outnumber men by 1.8 million to 1.45 million, comprising a majority of over 55 per cent. There is not a single county in the state that does not have a female majority. The fact that Penry Gustafson did so poorly shows that not only males, but females, voted overwhelmingly against her. Ladies, don’t blame the system, or the “good ole boys,” or the buttoned down guys in suits for your lack of officeholders: look in the mirror.

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FemmeFatale Top fan June 14, 2024 at 4:58 pm

As a very independent minded woman I take issue that any specific gender holds the monopoly on my nuanced opinions on any issue, including abortion. Isn’t that rather like Joe sayin you ain’t black if you vote Republican? As regards Few and her tin foil hat brigade followers-They didn’t have the juice to lift Dabney over the finish line against a candidate outside the county in his own backyard. They had little to no impact on Gustafson’s loss.
She managed that all by herself.

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Jan June 14, 2024 at 6:47 pm

LOL no independent-minded woman could support the Republican Party these days. Only three groups are still in play for them, bimbos, Stepford wives (including Stepford wife wannabes and former Stepford wives), and women dominated by a father, boyfriend, or preacher. There is a potential fourth group out there, racist women, but they probably are mostly covered by the Bimbo category.

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River Top fan June 16, 2024 at 3:34 pm

Stop spreading lies.

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Julie Strickland Top fan June 14, 2024 at 5:43 pm

Thank you, Belinda for your honest reaction concerning the outcome of the primary election as well as letting the people of Kershaw County know exactly how you feel about the people who serve along side you on the KCGOP.

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Snorlaxes R Us June 14, 2024 at 5:59 pm

With all that extra time on their hands after losing, maybe Penry and Katrina can do something useful and positive, like join Jenny Craig.

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Jeff Mattox Top fan June 15, 2024 at 8:42 am

This is yet another example of a truism. It is impossible for one person to represent 1, 4, 10 or 10,0000. Everyone including politicians work in their own self interests despite their campaign rhetoric.
I want a lot more freedom and a WHOLE lot less government. If you want the same we can work together.
I have no use for gender rights or women’s rights or black or white debates. There is only one debate I care about. Do you want, do you cherish, freedom as much as I do?

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River Top fan June 15, 2024 at 8:50 pm

Miss Penry, God replaced you.

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Gary Faulkenberry June 16, 2024 at 10:51 pm

Absolutely the worst person that has ever been elected to the South Carolina Senate!

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