By Stan Welch
Both United States Senators easily won their primaries Tuesday, with Sen. Tim Scott winning an amazing ninety per cent of the vote; a figure which does not bode well for his November opposition, Democrat Joyce Dickerson.
If he defeats her, he will become the Palmetto State’s first elected black Senator. He was appointed to his current position by Governor Nikki Haley following Sen. Jim DeMint’s resignation. The winner in November will serve the last two years of that unexpired term.
Senior U. S. Senator Lindsey Graham scored an equally impressive win by capturing sixty two per cent of the vote statewide against a crowded field of six candidates. Graham avoided a runoff, although his percentage was eight points lower in Anderson County than across the state. He faces Democrat Brad Hutto in November.
While there will be runoffs for some of the state offices that were at stake in yesterday’s primaries, local races were all decided, with few if any close results.
Former state attorney general Henry McMaster will face either former Governor Carroll Campbell’s son Mike Campbell, or Pat McKinney in a runoff on June 24. Both men received twenty four per cent of the vote statewide, although McKinney garnered almost twenty eight per cent in Anderson County.
The winner of the tie may not be determined until the election results are certified later this week. The runoff winner will face Democrat Bakari Sellers in November.
Incumbent Curtis Loftis drew almost fifty eight per cent of the vote locally, while on his way to retaining his position as state treasurer.
Not surprisingly, the crowded race for state superintendent of education resulted in runoffs in both the Republican and Democratic primaries. Sally Atwater, with just over twenty one percent of the vote will face Molly Spearman, with just over twenty per cent, in the Republican runoff. On the Democratic side, Sheila Gallagher and Tom Thompson will face off.
Bob Livingston won the Adjutant General’s race with sixty four per cent of the vote, a figure matched by incumbent Secretary of Agriculture Hugh Weathers.
Perhaps one of the evening’s largest surprises locally came with incumbent Representative Don Bowen’s loss in the District Eight House race. Newcomer Jonathon Hill handily defeated Bowen, with almost fifty eight per cent of the vote. Incumbent Probate Judge Martha Newton defeated Judge Dan Sharp with fifty eight per cent of the vote as well.
Such margins were common in the County Council races also. In District Three, Mitchell Cole unseated incumbent Eddie Moore handily with just under sixty per cent of the vote, while incumbent Tom Allen defeated Anderson attorney Kurt Gibson in the District Four Council race with fifty eight per cent. Current Council chairman Tommy Dunn struggled early against second time opponent Deny Floyd before pulling away for a victory with fifty five per cent of the vote.
In the Greenville County Council race for District 26, Lynn Ballard won forty three per cent of the vote, while Todd Frederick finished second with twenty four per cent. Piedmont Public Service Commission Chairman Ed Poore finished third with eighteen per cent and Buddy Dyer garnered fifteen per cent.