Voters throughout South Carolina went to the polls Tuesday, June 12, for the primary elections ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm elections. A handful of races were fully decided, as primary winners will not face opposition in November, while many others are headed to run-offs June 26.
State Rep. James Smith secured the Democratic nomination with 61.81 percent of the vote, easily defeating Marguerite Willis (27.55%) and Phil Noble (10.64%). Smith now awaits the winner of a June 26 run-off between incumbent Henry McMaster (42.32%) and John Warren (27.83%) for the Republican nomination.
SECRETARY OF STATE
Incumbent Mark Hammond claimed 65.44 percent of the vote in the Republican primary to secure the nomination. He will face Democrat Melvin Whittenburg in the November general election.
Incumbent Alan Wilson (48.65%) will face a June 26 runoff versus Todd Atwater (29.74%) for the Republican nomination. The winner will face Democrat Constance Anastopoulo in the November general election.
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 1
Incumbent Mark Sanford (46.49%) was upset in the Republican primary by Katie Arrington (50.56%), who will face Democrat Joe Cunningham (71.51%) in the November general election.
STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 122
Incumbent Bill Bowers (47.48%) was ousted in the Democratic primary by Hampton County Councilman Shedron Williams (52.52%). Williams will not face opposition in the November general election.
BEAUFORT COUNTY SHERIFF
Incumbent PJ Tanner (54.73%) held off challenger JoJo Woodward (45.27%) to earn re-election. Tanner will be unopposed in the November general election.
BEAUFORT COUNTY AUDITOR
Incumbent Jim Beckert (52.28%) won reelection in a close race against challenger George Wright (47.72%). Beckert will run unopposed in the November general election.
BEAUFORT COUNTY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 9
Mark Lawson (45.77%) and Mike Raymond (19.10%) advanced to a June 26 run-off for the Republican nomination in this Bluffton district. The winner will face Democrat Mark McGinnis in November.
Democratic primary voters overwhelmingly supported legalizing medical marijuana (82.03%) and requiring the state to accept all federal revenues offered to support Medicaid and Medicaid expansion efforts (92.75%), while Republican voters showed similar support for allowing voters to choose to affiliate with a party when they register to vote (82.34%) and for conforming the state tax code with the new Trump tax cuts (92.3%). These advisory questions do not represent pending referenda but may be used to guide party priorities regarding future legislation.
Photo at top: These campaign signs clutter the sidewalk at Greene and Baggett streets near the polling place in the Charles “Lind” Brown Neighborhood Activity Center. Photo by Bob Sofaly.