A longtime Pee Dee state senator narrowly held onto his seat Monday, surviving a recount of last week’s election.
Sen. Yancey McGill (D-Kingstree) edged out fellow Democrat Cezar McKnight by only 80 votes, according to the final tallies by the South Carolina Election Commission. That was 2 less than the 82-vote margin he was originally given Tuesday night. More than 12,500 ballots were cast in the contentious race that pitted the newcomer McKnight against the 24-year veteran.
No Republicans are running for the seat, meaning McGill is the de facto winner of November’s election.
McGill received 6,376 votes in the final tally to McKnight’s 6,296.
McGill has served in the state Senate since 1988. He is one of the most senior and powerful Democrats in the General Assembly and even chairs a subcommittee that controls much of the state’s agricultural budget, despite being in the minority party. He is a real estate broker in the private sector.
But he was targeted by his constituents after being the only Democrat to get an “A” on the governor’s legislative report cards. McGill only received 39 percent of the vote in his native Williamsburg County–picking up most of his support in other neighboring precincts of Berkeley, Florence, Georgetown, and Marion counties.
McKnight is Kingstree attorney who was seeking his first public office.