Columbia, SC (WLTX, AP) - The race for the GOP nomination for U.S. House District 5 is "too close to call," the Associated Press says.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Ralph Norman led Tommy Pope by 203 votes out of the 35,344 that were cast in Tuesday's election. Each wound up with 50 percent of the vote.
Norman is the apparent winner, but South Carolina law stipulates that a mandatory recount must take place if the vote difference is less than one percent of the total votes cast, which is the case with this result.
The two spent much of the last two weeks running negative ads on each other, spending a large sum of money in an attempt to get the conservative tilted district toward them.
Both candidates hail from York County. Pope is the former chief prosecutor for York and Union counties and lives in the town of York, and is a member of the South Carolina House. Norman is a Rock Hill developer. He resigned from his state seat to concentrate on the congressional race.
The winner will face Democrat Archie Parnell, who defeated two military veterans to win his party's nod.
The seat opened earlier this year when the Senate confirmed Mick Mulvaney as White House budget director.
The special election takes place June 20, and will feature not only the Democratic and Republican nominees, but third-party candidates as well.