Just under 8 percent of Charleston County’s 269,015 registered voters cast their ballots in yesterday’s primary election. But regardless of the less-than-stellar turnout, we now know which candidates will be going head to head this fall.
According to the unofficial results, Congressman Mark Sanford came out on top in the GOP primary that pit him against state Rep. Jenny Horne. The race was tighter than many expected with Sanford leading by just over 10 percent of the vote. The incumbent House member will go up against Democratic party challenger and activist Dimitri Cherny in November.
In the GOP race for the state Senate seat that will be left vacant by the pending retirement of Sen. Ray Cleary, S.C. Rep. Stephen Goldfinch managed to squeak by his three challengers, but not by enough to clinch the nomination. Goldfinch will compete in a run-off against Reese Boyd in two weeks. Boyd, a Murrells Inlet attorney who earned an endorsement from Gov. Nikki Haley, trailed Goldfinch by only 2 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary election.
Incumbent state Sen. Larry Grooms won soundly against his opponent for the District 37 Republican nomination. Fellow incumbent state Sen. Sean Bennett carried the GOP race for District 38, and Sandy Senn and Roy Maybank are the top two GOP candidates vying for the District 41 seat being vacated by state Sen. Paul Thurmond.
For the democrats, state Sen. Marlon Kimpson was able to defend his run for District 42, defeating former state Sen. Robert Ford by a margin of almost 60 percent.
Over in the state House of Representatives, democratic candidate KJ Kearney will challenge Republican incumbent Samuel Rivers Jr. for District 15 following their primary wins. In district 110, William Cogswell and Russell Guerard took the top spots in the GOP primary. District 112 incumbent state Rep. Mike Sottile marches to a strong victory in the GOP primary.
In November, Democratic incumbent Rep. Robert Brown will face Republican primary winner Carrol O’Neal for the District 116 seat. Both candidates claimed a 70 percent share of the votes cast in their respective party elections.
In county elections, Democrat Ruth Jordan and Republican Brantley Moody both move on to see who will represent the residents of West Ashley on Charleston County Council.
Runoff elections are scheduled for June 28, and candidates have until Nov. 8 for the general election.