A businessman who has represented the small towns of southern Anderson County in the South Carolina House the past decade is in line to win an effective promotion to the state Senate.
State Rep. Mike Gambrell, R-Honea Path, received nearly 58 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff for an open state Senate seat. Williamston Town Councilman Rockey Burgess received 42 percent, according to returns from the South Carolina Election Commission. Both men received the highest vote totals in the March 22 primary, but neither received the majority needed to clinch the GOP nomination at that time.
Since no Democratic or other candidate has filed for next month’s special election, Tuesday night’s victory means Gambrell has effectively won the seat. “I am honored and humbled that you saw through the political tactics and mudslinging,” he posted on Facebook after the results were apparent. “You placed your trust in me for the second time to be your Senator.”
Gambrell would replace the late State Sen. Billy O’Dell, a Democrat-turned-Republican who held the seat for more than 27 years before suffering a heart attack in January.
Prior to his service in the House, Gambrell served as chief of the Friendship Fire Department near Belton. He also operates a waste hauling business.