It looks like Lindsey Graham will not only get the most votes tonight, but he’ll also avoid a runoff. Graham needed 50 percent of the vote to avoid another election in two weeks. He’s currently at 60 percent with half of all precincts. The closest challenger is Lee Bright with 13 percent. A distant third is Columbia pastor Det Bowers. Bowers said Monday that he would’ve liked to enter the race earlier than he did.
It’s also settled on the Democratic side. State Sen. Brad Hutto of Orangeburg easily dispatched Columbia businessman Jay Stamper. Hutto will likely be a huge underdog if the results hold. Meanwhile Sen. Tim Scott will face Richland County Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson in the other Senate race.
In the Republican State Superintendent of Education race, special education advocate Sally Atwater’s 23 percent leads SC Assocation of School Administrators Molly Spearman’s 20 percent with reform advocate Sheri Few right behind.
On the Democratic side, it’s Florence teaching activist Sheila Gallagher leading former education dean Tom Thompson37 percent to 27 percent. That race is also likely headed to a runoff.
In the Republican lieutenant governor’s race, former Attorney General Henry McMaster leads with 43 percent of the vote. Charleston real estate developer Pat McKinney and Columbia businessman Mike Campbell are in a dead heat for that second runoff spot. The winner on the GOP side will face State Rep. Bakari Sellers of Bamberg who had no opposition in the Democratic primary.
Remember, we will be updating throughout the night so keep checking back here for the latest, including reaction from the various candidates. Here is the latest update from Matt Long: