The Primary Election of 2010 is now in the books. What an election. What a night as the returns came in. Here is how things seem to be shaping up, with our comments and all. This post will be a little longwinded to some, but we are trying cover it all.
First, congratulations to Vincent Sheheen. Sheheen put an old fashioned whipping on Jim Rex and Robert Ford to get the Democratic nomination for Governor. Welcome, Mr. Sheheen to the big time now.
Also, congratulations to Nikki Haley. Haley was attacked by friend and foe alike, but garnered 48.86% of the Republican Primary vote for Governor. In second place is Congressman Gresham Barrett, way behind with 21.76% of the GOP vote. Expect calls for Barrett to concede but do not expect Barrett to answer them. For some reason, memories of Nick Theodore and Joe Riley in the Democratic Primary of 1994 come to mind. Theodore nearly won, Riley was way behind, but their runoff race ended up one for the ages.
Congratulations also go to Richard Ecstrom, who secured another nomination as Comptroller General and to Curtis Loftis who whipped incumbent Treasurer Converse Chellis after the nastiest race for that office in state history.
Besides Haley and Barrett there are some interesting runoff races shaping up in the GOP. Ken Ard will take on Bill Connor, who surged late, for the Lt. Governor nomination. Alan Wilson and Leighton Lord will meet in the expected runoff for Attorney General. Zais will be mixing it up with suprise runoff contender Elilabeth Moffley in the GOP Superintendant of Education race.
The Congressional and SC House races offered some interesting results and showed that while the voter turnout was relatively low, those who did turn out were ticked off.
The exception was incumbent Congressman Joe Wilson, who rolled to renomination in the Second Congressional District against Phil Black.
But, other House races were much more interesting. In the first, Tim Scott won the primary with 31.49% of the vote but will face Paul Thurmond in a runoff. Scott is the first black man since Reconstruction to be in such a position in a Republcian Congressional Primary in South Carolina.
In the Third, an upset happened. Richard Cash, a man actually short on campaign cash but long on grassroots things like signs and get out the vote efforts, ecked out more primary votes than favorite Jeff Duncan. Cash and Duncan will meet in the runoff.
In the Fourth, incumbent Bob Inglis was shown the door by Trey Gowdy. But, Gowdy only got 39.09& of the vote, so he will meet Inglis again in the runoff. Inglis got 27.54% of the vote yesterday and is in what can only be called real trouble.
In the SC House, some people were told to go home. Among the most prominent was longtime SC House member Harry Cato, who only got 31.19% of the vote in his primary race against the winner, Tim Corbin.
There were also some unexpected close calls in the SC House. One was in Greenwood, where Rep. Gene Pinson ecked out a victory over Buck Griffin.
Representative Marion Frye faces a runoff with Ralph Kennedy to hold on to his seat after a close primary.
The most shocking results in SC House primaries came from the District 10 GOP House race. Dan Cooper, a longtime member of the House and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Commitee faced off against Joshua Putnam, a good young man by all accounts, but a a very young man who has not even finished college. Cooper took the race too lightly, and it nearly cost him his seat. Putnam pushed Cooper to the edge. In the end, Cooper won with 2882 votes to Putnam's 2751. It was a race that went back and forth all night. The race should serve as a wakeup call to Cooper. It also will encourage more prominent opponents to take a look at running in 2012. As for Putnam, watch out for this young man. He will live to fight another day somewhere.
That brings us to another shockingly close race. VUI said the local race to watch was the Berkeley County Supervisor's race, as it was part of Henry Brown's odd road home. Well, Mr. Brown finished first in that primary, by two votes, over incumbent Supervisor Dan Davis. So much for Brown's contact and money making the race a yawner. The two will meet again in two weeks at the polls.
There are other interesting races, but there is only so much people will read. VUI says this. When the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee nearly loses re-election to a kid who has not yet finished college, all we have to say is "Oh, what a night."