Putnam wins special election

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August 31, 2011

By Tyler Millhouse

Columbia, South Carolina: On Tuesday, South Carolina held a special election for House District 10. The special election was called to the fill the seat of retiring incumbent Daniel Cooper (R). Cooper resigned effective June 29, following a 20-year career in the House. Upon making the decision, he explained that he wanted to spend more time with his family and private-sector career. Prior to his retirement Cooper was chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee.[1][2] In early August, Cooper announced that he was taking a position with Parker Poe Consulting, a lobbying firm.[3]

Ultimately, Republican candidate Joshua Putnam defeated Constitution Party candidate Dave Ballard by a 1,026-196 margin. Putnam narrowly won the Republican nomination after primary and primary runoff elections. Both Ballard and Putnam unsuccessfully challenged Cooper in 2010, Ballard in the general election and Putnam in the primary. Putnam, a college student, nearly defeated Cooper in the 2010, losing by only 131 votes.[4][5]

Putnam, 22, is now the House of Representatives' youngest member. Since he replaced a fellow Republican, the partisan balance of the chamber will not change.[4]

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