Thursday is runoff election day across South Carolina.
University of South Carolina communications dean Charles Bierbauer said South Carolina is not the only state that has runoffs. “That’s not a unique situation. The 50 plus one, 50 percent plus one vote being the majority, you find that in a number of circumstances.”
Gov. Henry McMaster is facing Greenville businessman John Warren after failing to get a majority of the vote in the GOP primary two weeks ago. “The odds are that he will pull through. He was close to getting 50 percent,” said Bierbauer.
McMaster picked up 42 percent of the vote, while Warren finished in second with 28 percent. The challenger hopes he can pick up most of the 58 percent of Republicans who voted against the incumbent McMaster.
The other statewide runoff race is between Republican incumbent Attorney General Alan Wilson and State Rep. Todd Atwater. Wilson fell just shy of the 50-percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff. Atwater was able to clinch the second-place spot in this month’s primary by attacking Wilson’s connections to political consultant Richard Quinn, who was at the center of a Statehouse corruption probe.
Another runoff of interest is the race to replace Republican U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy in the Fourth Congressional District. That runoff pits State Sen. William Timmons against former State Sen. Lee Bright. “The presumption is whichever Republican wins the runoff is all most sure to be elected to Congress from the Fourth Congressional District,” Bierbauer said. ” It just swings so heavily Republican.”
Bright strode to the front of a crowded Republican field earlier this month, claiming the most votes among the 12 candidates with 25 percent. Timmons eked out a second-place finish ahead of State Rep. Dan Hamilton by fewer than 400 votes. On the Democratic side, Brandon Brown and Doris Turner will meet in the runoff.