Katrina Shealy hugs at supporter after winning State Senate District 23 on November 6, 2012.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Republican Sen. Jake Knotts has lost his re-election bid against a petition candidate in one of the state's most closely watched races.
COMPLETE ELECTION RESULTS
The 10-year Senate veteran is a longtime critic of Gov. Nikki Haley and, before her, former Republican Gov. Mark Sanford. The 67-year-old former law enforcement officer lost to former Lexington County GOP Chairwoman Katrina Shealy in a race that sparked the chaos that tossed nearly 250 people off primary ballots.
A lawsuit filed against Shealy for not properly filing her candidacy paperwork led to back-to-back state Supreme Court rulings that affected races statewide. Many blamed Knotts.
Shealy won with 51 percent of the vote to Knott's 44 percent.
Knotts won a special election to the Senate in April 2002, following eight years in the House.