Battle for nomination continues in South Carolina's 1st district
Charleston, South Carolina: Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (R) will continue his long-fought attempt to re-enter public service tomorrow, advancing to the Republican primary runoff in the 1st Congressional District special election where he will face challenger Curtis Bostic, an ally of former incumbent Tim Scott (R).
Voters will select which candidate advances as the Republican nominee in the election to fill the seat left empty following the appointment of Tim Scott to the U.S. Senate. Scott was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Gov. Nikki Haley (R) to replace Jim DeMint (R). DeMint decided to resign and head the conservative Heritage Foundation beginning in January 2013. Polls will be open from 7am to 7pm.
Eighteen candidates, including two Democratic candidates and 16 Republican candidates, went head to head the in primary elections on March 19. Sanford beat Bostic decisively in the primary, but failed to get the 50 percent required to avoid a runoff.
Sanford was able to secure the largest percentage of the votes, slightly more than a third of the overall vote total, among the Republican candidates, but was unable to gain the majority required in order to win the nomination. Bostic had about 13.32 percent and Grooms earned about 12.40 percent.
The narrow margin between second and third place winners Curtis Bostic and Larry Grooms also necessitated an automatic recount. On March 20, Grooms indicated that he would no longer be in the running for the seat, and he suspended his campaign.
The most recent campaign finance filings available for either candidate were from prior to the primary, dated March 13, and showed Sanford with a wide lead, though neither man raised much money in the two-weeks between the primary and the runoff tomororw. Sanford reportedly raised just $78,521 and Bostic raised just $55,205, which included $50,000 he loaned his campaign.
The winner of the runoff will face Democratic nominee Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, sister to The Colbert Report host, Stephen Colbert, and Green Party candidate Eugene Platt.The general election is scheduled for May 7, 2013. The general election race is expected to be tough for any Democrat. The Charleston-area seat has been a Republican stronghold for decades, and continues to lean Republican. The last Democratic candidate elected was Mendel Jackson Davis in 1978.
In a look at the last 11 primary runoff elections in South Carolina since 1998, the Washington Post found that in only 7 out of the 11 elections, or approximately 64% of the time, the top winner in the primary also won the runoff election. Sanford's first House election in 1994 was one instance of a second place primary winner coming from behind to win the nomination in the runoff election.
Some speculate on what effect the "increasingly rancorous Republican primary" will have on the eventual nominee heading into the May 7 general election, and whether it might be a slight advantage to Colbert-Busch.
- South Carolina's 1st Congressional District special election, 2013
- Tim Scott
- Mark Sanford
- Curtis Bostic
- South Carolina elections, 2013
- United States House of Representatives
- South Carolina's 1st Congressional District
- United States House of Representatives elections in South Carolina, 2012
- Special elections to the 113th United States Congress (2013-2014)
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- Politico, "Mark Sanford advances to runoff" accessed April 19, 2013