By Stan Welch
As expected, a runoff will be necessary to determine who will take the S.C. Senate seat for District Three. In Tuesday’s Republican primary for the seat, former Pendleton Mayor Carol Burdette and Powdersville businessman Richard Cash gleaned the two highest number of votes, setting up a runoff on April 25.
Burdette won thirty one per cent of the vote (2400) while Cash gathered twenty six per cent (2030). John Tucker, a former state representative, finished third with twenty three per cent (1821). Other candidates in the crowded field included James Galyean (840),former state representative Don Bowen (313), Brad Johnson (293), Dean Allen (90) and Corey Bott (79).
The seat was vacated by incumbent Kevin Bryant following Governor Nikki Haley’s appointment as President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the U.N., leading to a series of political maneuvers that put Henry McMaster in the Governor’s Office, and Bryant as the Lt. Governor.
Burdette’s strong showing was not unexpected, since she had mounted a strong challenge to Bryant in the 2016 primary. Turnout was barely eleven per cent of the available votes (7880 votes cast out of more than 72,000.)
Since no Democrats are seeking the office, the winner of the runoff is almost certain to win the special election on May 30, and finish Bryant’s term, which runs until 2020.