The results are in from the March 19 South Carolina special election primaries, and the crowded Republican field has been narrowed down to two candidates. Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford will face former Charleston County Council Member Curtis Bostic in a runoff election on April 2.
Sanford finished in first with 37 percent of the nearly 54,000 votes cast. Bostic narrowly edged State Senator Larry Grooms for second place by less than 1 percent, which triggered an automatic recount. Grooms conceded defeat the next day, and the recount confirmed the results.
The top 5 leading vote-getters all had at least one thing in common: They signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Like former Rep. Tim Scott (who vacated the 1st District seat when he was appointed to replace Jim DeMint in the U.S. Senate), 10 of the 16 total Republican candidates made a written commitment to South Carolinians to oppose new tax increases. Together, they impressively drew a combined 86 percent of the vote.
The Cook Political Report currently rates the race as “Lean Republican” with a Partisan Voter Index of “R+11.” The winner of the runoff will face Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in the general election on May 7. Regardless of the outcome of the April 2 runoff, 1st District voters will be fortunate to have at least one candidate who will fight to protect their families from harmful tax hikes.