- The special election Democratic primary for a vacant Senate seat in South Carolina is a close race with minimal vote margins separating the candidates.
- After all regular votes were counted Wednesday, state Rep. Deon Tedder led state Rep. Wendell Gillard by 11 votes out of 4,173 votes cast in the runoff.
- The race is likely to proceed to a recount, as state law requires a recount if the difference is within 1 percentage point.
Democratic candidates appear to have received only a few votes in the special election for an open South Carolina Senate seat.
After all regular votes were counted Wednesday, state Rep. Deon Tedder led state Rep. Wendell Gillard by 11 votes out of 4,173 votes cast in the runoff, according to results from the South Carolina State Board of Elections. .
The Charleston County Board of Elections will decide the fate of 10 provisional ballots later this week, but two unpaid overseas military ballots remain unreturned and face a Wednesday night deadline, county elections said. Administrator Isaac Kramer told The Post and Courier.
The race will almost certainly be recounted. State law requires it if the margin is within 1 percentage point of her.
The Senate seat is vacant after Democratic Sen. Marlon Kimpson resigned after a 10-year term to take a job shaping trade policy in President Joe Biden’s administration.
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Ms Gillard, 69, won a three-way primary two weeks ago with 47% of the vote. But South Carolina needs a majority to win the nomination. In the primary, Tedder won 39% of the vote, while state Rep. J.A. Moore got 15%.
The winner will face Republican Rosa Kay in the Nov. 7 general election. The district is heavily Democratic and extends from the Charleston Peninsula to North Charleston.
If elected, Tedder, 33, will be the youngest state senator. Kimpson, along with several prominent Charleston-area Democrats, endorsed the attorney and two-term state representative.
Tedder also has the support of the state’s most prominent Democrat, Rep. Jim Clyburn.
This troubled Ms Gillard, who said that if she loses after the results are confirmed, she could challenge Mr Clyburn in 2024 if the 83-year-old Clyburn runs for a 17th term.
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“If you don’t kiss the ring, he gets an attitude. I don’t even kiss the ring. I would never do that in politics,” Gilliard told the Charleston newspaper.