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Two key Columbia races headed to runoffs

The Columbia Mayor's race led the roughly three dozen election contests in central South Carolina.
Credit: WLTX

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Two key races in Columbia are headed to runoffs, including the mayor's contest. 

Those races led off a big day of elections throughout the Midlands of South Carolina. You can see results for key races below, and you can find a list of numbers in every contest on WLTX's 2021 Election Results page

The races were for offices such as city and town councils as well as mayoral contests. Roughly three dozens races across the Midlands were contested. 

The largest among those was for Columbia mayor, as voters went to the polls to pick a new leader for the first time in 11 years. Incumbent Steve Benjamin earlier this year choose not to seek another term

Based on results, it will be Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine and Councilman Daniel Rickenmann meeting in a runoff in two weeks. The two got the most votes in the four way contests with former Councilman Moe Baddourah and Sam Johnson, a former assistant to Benjamin. 

However, while Rickenmann got the most votes, he didn't break the 50 percent threshold to avoid the runoff. He and Devine will meet on November 16 to settle the race.

And there'll be a runoff in the race to pick a new City Council At-Large member to replace Devine, who stepped down after nearly 20 years in her position so she could run for mayor. 

In the numbers available Tuesday night, Aditi Bussells led with Tyler Bailey close behind. Both are seeking their first elected office.


And in Columbia City Council District 1, there was a contest to replace Sam Davis, who decided to retire after 23 years on the council. 

The net result of these changes is that half of the Columbia City Council seats will have new representation come the new year. 

In other races on the ballot, voters in the Lexington County town of Swansea were chose a new mayor, and voters in Irmo, Cayce, and West Columbia were picking councilmembers. 

As is typical for city races such as these, voter turnout was far lower than it was during the general election last November, although final numbers aren't in yet.

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