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Incumbents largely win--with some big exceptions--in South Carolina 2022 Primary Elections

While many chose to go to the polls Tuesday, others had already cast ballots, with 100,000 making their picks with the newly approved no-excuse early voting.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Most incumbents fared well during South Carolina primary night but a few will not be moving on, including a longtime U.S. House member. 

Primary was for voters to cast their choices for who they want to appear on the ballot for November’s general election.

News19 has the latest final South Carolina Election Results for those contest which you can continue to find here

One of the key statewide races was for governor on the Democratic side, where former U.S. Congressman Joe Cunningham captured the nomination in a five person field.  State Senator Mia McLeod finished second. 

He'll take on incumbent Republican Gov. Henry McMaster, who's seeking a second elected term in 2022. (He first took the office in 2017 after then-Governor Nikki Haley stepped down to take a position in the Trump Administration.) McMaster easily won Tuesday over Vietnam veteran Bob Musselwhite. Three other statewide races—attorney general, secretary of state, agriculture commissioner—featured longtime incumbents who also won easily. 

The one statewide race that drew the most candidates was for education superintendent, where two-term incumbent Molly Spearman decided not to seek re-election.  Six Republicans—Travis Bedson, Bryan Chapman, Kizzi Gibson, Kathy Maness, Lynda Leventis-Wells, and Ellen Weaver—ran. In the final days of the campaign, Bedson and Weaver ran TV ads, and Maness received Spearman’s endorsement. For Democrats, it was Gary Burgess, Lisa Ellis, and Jerry Govan.

Nationally, the races of highest interests were for U.S. House District 1 and U.S. House District 7, mainly because of the involvement of former President Donald Trump in those contests. In House 1—which is along the coast from Charleston to Hilton Head—incumbent Nancy Mace fought off a challenge by Katie Arrington. Mace criticized Trump after the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, which angered the former President. He chose to endorse Arrington, who had run for this same seat in 2018 and lost. 

In House 7, which is Hilton Head and the surrounding counties, five-term incumbent Tom Rice lost his seat after being one of only 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over the Capitol riot. Trump campaigned against him and endorsed State Rep. Russell Fry, who got 51 percent of the vote in a seven person field. Rice finished a distant second at 25 percent.

And there was the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat featuring Catherine Flemming Bruce, Angela Geter, and Krystle Matthews. As of early Wednesday morning, it was unclear who would advance to a runoff. 

While many chose to go to the polls Tuesday, others had already cast ballots, with 100,000 making their picks with the newly approved no-excuse early voting. Another 20,000 voted absentee by mail.

    

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