Gloria Tinubu and Tom Rice will face each other in November to determine who will be the first person to hold the new District 7 Congressional seat in Washington starting in January.
After all the votes were counted in Georgetown County in the party nomination runoffs Tuesday, it was a Tinubu landslide in the Democratic race as she received 2,580 votes and her opponent, Preston Brittan picked up 372 votes.
District wed, Tinubu was officially declared the winner by the Associated Press at 9 p.m., about 30 minutes after Brittain called Tinubu to concede the race.
He also said she has his support in November.
Tinubu received 17,876 votes (73%) districtwide compared to Brittain's 6,718.
Tinubu won the Democratic runoff after a contentious 10 days of legal wrangling.
The state Election Commission declared Glorida Bromell Tinubu the winner two weeks ago, but a judge ruled Friday the commission counted the votes incorrectly and put her in a runoff with lawyer Brittain with just four days to campaign.
"We are elated. I think it will motivate our party even more to get the votes out so that we will have a victory in November. Not only for the 7th District but for the president as well," Tinubu said Tuesday night.
On the Republican side, the Georgetown County results were not much closer as Rice defeated Andre Bauer 2476 to 1301.
He was also declared the winner at about 9 p.m. as, at that time he led Bauer 56% to 44% districtwide.
When all the votes were counted, Rice received 16,797 votes while Bauer received 13,148.
In a speech in Litchfield Monday, Bauer said if he did not win he would support Rice in November.
The Republican race was the more contentious of the two.
In TV ads, Bauer said Rice is a "moderate" who will raise taxes. Rice's wife took to the airwaves in a radio ad to suggest that electing Bauer to Congress would come back to embarrass the state.
After the votes were tallied Tuesday, Rice said he feels he knows why he had such a decisive victory.
"Mr. Bauer's campaign was so very negative. I think it turned a lot of people off" Rice said.
In Georgetown County, 16.5% of the registered voters cast a ballot Tuesday. Of that total, 3799 voted in the Republican Primary while 2,968 voted in the Democratic race.
Less than an hour after the votes were counted, South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Chad Connnelly issued a statement praising Rice and attacking Tinubu.
"Tom Rice has strong, deep roots in the 7th district and he'll be an outstanding advocate for the district in Congress. The South Carolina Republican Party will work tirelessly to elect him on November 6. I also want to commend Andre Bauer for running a hard-fought campaign," said Chairman Connelly.
He said Tinubu "is out of touch with South Carolina values. She is a radical, left-wing candidate with strong ties to the Green Party and the AFL-CIO union bosses. The South Carolina Republican Party will expose her questionable ties and radical record in the coming days."
The State Democratic Party fired back via Twitter.
"If Republican's worked half as hard as Dr. Tinubu, state government wouldn't be on the verge of a shutdown this week. The Republican runoff was a race between Nikki Haley and Andre Bauer and either way South Carolina loses. They spent the last week in the 7th demonstrating the petty, selfish politics voters have come to expect from Republicans," the Tweet states. "Dr. Tinubu demonstrated the alternative Democrats are offering: determined and hardworking."
Last minute campaigning
On Monday — the final day to push for votes, both Republican candidates — Andre Bauer and Tom Rice made separate campaign stops at Applewoods House of Pancakes in Litchfield.
Rice drew the bigger crowd. He was accompanied by Gov. Nikki Haley, former Gov. Jim Edwards and others who offered their endorsements.
Bauer addressed the Waccamaw Republican Women’s Group during a lunchtime stop.
He spoke briefly about his opponent receiving Haley’s support.
Bauer said he received a text from Chad Walldorf, chairman of the Board of Economic Advisors on Thursday who said if he helped a senator pass some legislation, Haley would not endorse Rice.
They said “if you will get this senator to pass a bill, we will make sure the governor does not endorse your opponent,” Bauer said. “I said that is not the way to get me to do something. Threatening me is not the way to do it.”
He said he did not support the legislation and the next day Haley announced her endorsement.
Bauer, who said he received the endorsement of Pat Boone, said when it comes to oil, America needs to become less dependent on other countries.
“We have become more and more dependent on foreign countries since the Department of Energy was created,” he said. “These are issues we must address.”
Bauer also said Congress needs to tighten the laws when it comes to executive orders that can be issued by a president.
“No one person should be the king of this country. We are seeing an abuse of power which is why our founding fathers wanted three separate branches of government,” Bauer said.
He also said “I would love it” and he would support legislation that would keep lawmakers from being paid if a budget is not passed.
Bauer said if he didn’t win Tuesday, he will support Rice.
“A moderate Republican is still better than a Democrat,” he said.
Haley endorses Rice
At about 4 p.m. Monday a crowd showed up at Applewoods to greet Rice and his entourage.
“We need someone in Washington who realizes you do not raise the debt ceiling,” Haley said, adding Rice “is that person.”
At a forum sponsored by the Georgetown Times and Coastal Observer last month, Rice said he would support adding to the federal deficit if it meant money for dredging the Port of Georgetown.
Haley said Rice will be someone who fights for what is best for the district.
Edwards was also on hand to endorse Rice.
“I have never been so concerned about the future of my children and grandchildren,” said Edwards — who served as governor from 1975-79. “We cannot tolerate another four years like we have had.”
He also took a swipe at Bauer by saying “we need someone in Washington who is mature. Rice said he will fight to preserve the foundation on which the country was founded.
“If we lose ‘In God We Trust’ we are lost,” he said.
On a different topic he said “capitalism is the best incubator for innovation” and it is what “made us the world leader for the past 100 years.”
Judge orders Democratic runoff
Most of last week was spent with the two remaining Democrats seeking the nomination — Gloria Bromell Tinubu and Preston Brittain — not knowing if they would be involved in a runoff.
The issue that caused the problems was the more than 2,000 votes that were cast for Ted Vick on June 12.
The South Carolina Election Commission ruled the votes should not have been counted since Vick dropped out of the race in May. Under that ruling, Tinubu received more than 50 percent of the vote and was declared the winner.
However, a lawsuit was filed by Conway attorney Morgan Martin asking Judge Larry Hyman to order the votes for Vick be counted.
On Friday, Hyman issued a ruling siding with Martin and ordered a runoff between Tinubu and Brittain on Tuesday.
“I was not surprised, I was disappointed that they would deviate from what had always been the practice of this state in terms of dealing with candidates who have withdrawn,” Tinubu said. “We were prepared to deal with whatever way the judge would go. We hope that the legislature will ultimately clear this up.”
Tinubu immediately started criss-crossing the district to garner support and picked up the endorsement of House Minority Leader Harry Ott.
On Monday afternoon she was in Georgetown chatting with workers as they arrived at the ArcelorMittal Georgetown Steel Mill. She was joined by a small group of supporters who carried signs and waved to passing motorists.
Brittain, on the other hand, stayed close to home in the days leading up to the runoff, choosing to campaign by telephone.
Tinubu believes she is the most qualified candidate for the new 7th District seat.
“I’ve been in education for 20 years, and 34-plus years as an economist,” Tinubu said. “This district needs someone who understands how to allocate resources, how to grow the local economy, and how we need to put policies in place for full employment and make sure that we have quality public schools as well as a solid infrastructure. I have the experience and the other candidate doesn’t.”
By Scott Harper and
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