The special primary election to fill the vacancy in SC’s first congressional district was held yesterday. Former Rep. Tim Scott (R) was appointed to the U.S. Senate in January following the retirement of Sen. Jim DeMint (R). On the Democratic side, the outcome held no surprises as the only serious candidate was Elizabeth Colbert Busch – sister to comedian Stephen Colbert. Colbert won her primary challenge with 95.9% of the vote.
The Republican primary was a free-for-all with 16 candidates vying for the nomination. The front runner was former Gov. Mark Sanford who received the most votes Tuesday night and who will now advance to a runoff held April 2nd. Sanford needed 50% of the vote to win the nomination, but fell short with only 36.9% of the vote. The next highest vote getters were state Sen. Larry Grooms with 12.4% and Charleston County Councilman Curtis Bostic with 13.2% of the vote (99% precincts reporting). When a result is within one percentage point between second and third place, a recount is automatically held. As of Wednesday morning, Grooms conceded meaning no recount will be held and Bostic will face Sanford in the runoff.
The special general election will be held May 7th between Elizabeth Colbert Busch and the winner of the Republican runoff.