Mike Gambrell was the winner in the Senate District Four Republican Primary runoff held Tuesday. Gambrell took 57 percent of the vote while Rockey Burgess had 42 percent. Unofficial results showed Gambrell received 2,591 votes to 1,908 for Burgess.Approximately eight percent of the registered voters in the district turned out for the runoff, about the same number that voted in the primary two weeks ago.
In Anderson County, Gambrell garnered 2,008 votes (54 percent) to 1,710 for Burgess (45.99 percent).
Burgess carried his home precincts of Cedar Grove (106-37), West Pelzer (125-38), Williamston (235-65), Williamston Mill (251-41).
Gambrell led inthe Belton (134-68), Friendship (167-40), Honea Path (191-29), Neal’s Creek (99-25) and Belton Annex (207-49). Other precincts across the district were closer for both candidates.
Gambrell built much larger margins with seventy three and eighty two per cent of the votes cast in Greenwood and Abbeville counties respectively.
Gambrell will likely be the person to fill the seat since no Democratic candidates filed to run in the special election which will be held May 17. Write-in candidates, however, will still have an opportunity to seek the office in the special election.
The winner of the special election on May 17 will serve the final few months of Sen. Billy O’Dell’s term, but will still have to participate in the June primaries and the November general election to be elected to serve the full term beginning in January.
Gambrell will have little time to relax, since he will have to run again in the June primary for a full term as Senator. Burgess has already signed up to oppose Gambrell in that primary.
Mark Powell, who has been heavily involved in the Anderson County Republican party politics and ran in the Republican Primary for the Senate District Four seat, signed up to run as a Democrat in the upcoming Senate Dist. 4 primary. His name will be on the general election ballot in November as a Democrat.