Sam Spence

Several hotly contested primaries in Charleston-area districts will go to a head-to-head runoff after candidates failed to get 50 percent support on Tuesday.

With over 717,000 votes cast statewide, more than 66,000 voters stacked in long lines across Charleston on Tuesday. That total accounted for about 22 percent of county voters turned out, with record absentee voting numbers expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The next time most voters see these candidates on ballots will be in November, when turnout will likely be high once again for the presidential election.

Primary runoff elections will be held June 23.

(Results via early returns on

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham handily fended off three challengers, setting up a showdown with Jaime Harrison in November. Among the first to congratulate Graham on his victory was the Lindsey Must Go PAC created to raise money against him.

In the four-way race for the GOP nomination in the 1st Congressional District, state Rep. Nancy Mace pulled off an impressive outright victory, earning 57 percent of the vote. She will face U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham.

With two open Charleston County Council seats up for grabs, it looks like Democrats Rob Wehrman and Jesse Williams will go to a runoff in District 3. With Democrat Kylon Middleton clinching the District 6 nomination, he’ll face Republican Darryl Ray Griffin in November. Incumbent Brantley Moody won his GOP primary without issue.

Herb Fielding scored 70 percent of support in the Democratic primary for county coroner.
Replacing Mace in S.C. House District 99, Republicans Mark Smith and David Herndon will head to a runoff to see who will take on Democratic nominee Jen Gibson.

In the District 109 Democratic primary, James Johnson will head into a runoff against Deon Tedder.

In District 112, Democrat Daniel Brownstein looks to have edged out David Quick to face Republican nominee Joe Bustos.

The three-way Democratic race for House District 115 finished close, with all candidates earning at least 28 percent support, but Carol Tempel looks headed to a runoff against Spencer Wetmore. Republican Josh Stokes appears to have defeated Kathleen Wilson to set up that general election matchup.

In Senate races, Democrats Sam Skardon (District 41) and Debbie Bryant (District 44) easily won their primaries. Republican Brian Adams will face Bryant.

In races for state House seats, Democratic incumbent Reps. Wendell Gilliard (District 111) and Marvin Pendarvis (District 113) were victorious, as was Chardale Murray in the crowded District 116 race. On the Republican side, Gil Gatch (District 94), incumbent Rep. William Cogswell (District 110) and Jordan Pace (District 117) earned at least 50 percent.

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