Columbia, SC (AP) - Democrats have picked their nominee for June's special election for U.S. House District 5, but Republicans will have another vote in two weeks to pick their candidate.
On the GOP side,State House Speaker Pro Tem Tommy Pope and former state Rep. Ralph Norman advanced Tuesday to the May 16 primary runoff.
Pope and Norman beat out five other Republicans. Winning outright would have required at least one vote over 50 percent.
Both hail from York County, located just south of Charlotte, North Carolina. Pope is the former chief prosecutor for York and Union counties and lives in the town of York. Norman is a Rock Hill developer. He resigned from his state seat to concentrate on the congressional race.
Meanwhile, Democrat Archie Parnell defeated two military veterans to win his party's nod.
He was opposed by Army veteran Alexis Frank of Rock Hill and disabled Marine veteran Les Murphy of Indian Land.
Parnell raised the most money by far among the three Democrats. Democrats who endorsed him included former Govs. Jim Hodges and Dick Riley, and former congressman John Spratt, who held the seat for 28 years before Mulvaney ousted him in 2010.
Parnell lives in Sumter. He worked for 20 years at Goldman Sachs and 10 years at ExxonMobil. He was previously an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.
The seat opened earlier this year when the Senate confirmed Mulvaney as White House budget director. Prior to Mulavaney's 2010 election as part of a tea party wave, the seat was held by Democrats for more than 100 years. But it has trended more conservative since Mulvaney defeated longtime Democratic Congressman John Spratt, partly due to redistricting after the 2010 Census.
The special election takes place June 20, and will feature not only the Democratic and Republican nominees, but third-party candidates as well.
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