As VUI was for Alan Wilson for Attorney General and took some "anonymous" hits for doing so, several of the staff wanted the headline to be "Scoreboard!" But, we are not going to do that, though a lot campaigns must be feeling that tonight. The truth is Republican voters in South Carolina made clear decisions as to who they want representing their party in most elections around the state in November.
They were extremely clear about their nominee for Governor, where Nikki Haley won 65% of the vote against Congressman Gresham Barrett. As a side note, VUI would like to thank Congressman Barrett for his service to our state and country. Barrett is a nice guy, but he got caught on the wrong end of a political hurricane.
Two other sitting United States Congressman had a bitter runoff night. Bob Inglis barely got 29% of the vote against his opponent Trey Gowdy. In a really odd contest that VUI noted earlier as its local race to watch, Congressman Henry Brown was soundly defeated by Dan Davis in his bid to become Berkeley County Supervisor of all things. Sitting Republican Congressmen were 0 for 3 soundly on runoff night. Being a sitting US Congressman was a detriment on runoff night.
The exception was Congressman Wilson, whose son won handily. Perhaps the Lord folks or his supporters who aired the shadowy attacks against Alan Wilson were counting on the unpopularity of sitting members of Congress. It backfired and someone is out a lot of money and is probably going to have serious questions to answer. Just how did a college student afford giving tens of thousands to SC Truth Squad?
We also learned that Haley really has no coattails within the party. Haley supporters wanted Bill Conner to be the nominee for Lt. Governor. Ken Ard won with 61% of the vote. It seems like eight years ago, when Sanford did not like Bauer, but Bauer got the Lt. Governor's nomination. Also, sitting SC Rep. Joey Millwood, one of darling members of the House to the Haley movement was defeated for renomination. Add to that the fact that Marion Frye, from Saluda County, a target of the Haley supporters, won.
There were three other contested Congressional races. Jeff Duncan barely beat a well organized extreme right challenge from Richard Cash in the Third District. Tim Scott waxed Paul Thurmond with 68% of the vote, to become the first Black nominee for Congress of the Republican Party since Reconstruction. Two people who we never heard of battled it out to be the GOP sacrificial lamb against Jim Clyburn. Chances are we will never hear from them in the fall.
General Zais defeated Elizabeth Moffley in a closer than expected runoff for Superintendent of Education.
But, in the end, the Republican voters spoke loud and clear. It is mixed to some people. It is clear that each race is its own.
That said, to the Lord supporters who attacked this blog, Alan Wilson's mama, and his daddy and him, VUI says you fought your fight as you saw fit. Fair enough. As I looked over the results tonight, I thought of that great lawyer John Adams and his quote, "facts are stubborn things."
Congratulations to all the winners. We look forward to covering your campaigns and even making fun of you from time to time.