The State Election Commission has upheld the results following a Friday recount in the race to fill Lt. Governor Yancey McGill’s vacant state Senate seat. Senate District 32 represents most of Williamsburg County, and parts of Berkeley, Florence, Georgetown, and Horry counties in South Carolina’s Pee Dee region.
While Kingstree attorney Sam Floyd easily took the most votes in Tuesday’s Democratic Party primary, his 32.3% percent of the total was well below the majority required to avoid a runoff. Elections officials are holding a recount to officially determine who will face Floyd in the September 16 runoff, as second place finisher State Rep. Ronnie Sabb, D-Kingstree (24.5% of the vote) and third place Cezar McKnight (24.2%) were separated by less than 1 percent of the vote.
Sabb held off McKnight among the totals from the five counties covered by Senate District 32. The final certified results show the current state House member edged out the third-place finisher by just 37 votes. Another Democratic legislator, Rep. Carl Anderson, D-Georgetown, finished fourth in the race with 19 percent support.
Floyd, Sabb, and McKnight are all attorneys in the small town of Kingstree. Anderson is a pastor and insurance agent in neighboring Georgetown County.
The winner of the Democratic primary in two weeks will almost certainly take the seat on Election Day as no Republicans are running. Under South Carolina law, Republicans can also vote in the Democratic race since there is no GOP primary.
The special election is being held after McGill resigned his Senate seat in June to become South Carolina’s lieutenant governor. McGill made the move after previous Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell left the Lt. Gov. post to become the College of Charleston’s new president.