AP NEWS

US House bids, attorney general nod at stake in runoffs

June 23, 2018

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina voters aren’t done with primaries yet. On Tuesday, they will vote in runoffs to choose the likely replacement for U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy and whether the state attorney general gets to run for another term.

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4th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Democrats and Republicans will settle on a nominee in the seat in the conservative district left open when Republican Trey Gowdy decided to leave the U.S. House earlier this year.

Former state Sen. Lee Bright won the 13-candidate primary on June 12, but received just 25 percent of the vote - only half of what he needed to avoid the runoff. His opponent Tuesday is state Sen. William Timmons, who picked up 19 percent of the vote.

Timmons said he and Bright have similar ideas about the important things to conservatives like cutting spending and taxes and stopping abortions. But Bright’s propensity toward less mainstream ideas like creating a state currency for South Carolina or passing a law where the government would require people to use the bathrooms of their gender at their birth will prevent him from being an effective congressman, Timmons said.

“We are no different. We support the same policies,” Timmons said. “The difference is who has the ability move the ball - who has the ability to change Washington.”

But Bright said Timmons is more likely to side with Democrats and liberal-leaning Republicans.

“I don’t load the enemy’s gun,” Bright said. “You can choose the establishment way. Or you can choose the conservative way.”

Businesswoman Lee Turner and businessman Brandon Brown face each other in the Democratic runoff.

The Republican has won at least 60 percent of the vote in the district around Greenville and Spartanburg in each election since 1998.

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7th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Rep. Robert Williams is running not only for the Democratic nomination but also is on the ballot to retain his seat in the state House. His opponent is economics and government teacher Mal Hyman of Hartsville.

The district includes the area from Florence to Myrtle Beach, and the winner will face Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Rice and Libertarian Dick Withington.

Rice has won every race since the district was created in 2012.

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2nd CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

A sometimes nasty campaign between two Democrats ends with the winner taking on Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson in November.

Sean Carrigan, an Army veteran from Chapin, and Annabelle Robertson, a civil rights attorney from West Columbia were within 672 votes of each other in the primary.

Robertson has said Carriagn’s supporters have been sexist bullies and questioned her personal life. Carrigan said he has nothing to do with the attacks and has run a positive campaign

Carrigan characterizes himself as a moderate who can beat Wilson, while Robertson said she is a progressive.

The western South Carolina 2nd District includes Aiken, Barnwell and Lexington counties as well as parts of Orangeburg and Richland counties.

Wilson is seeking a ninth full term.

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STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Attorney General Alan Wilson is running for the Republican nomination against state Rep. Todd Atwater.

It’s been an especially nasty race. Atwater says Wilson is soft on corruption and tried to fire a prosecutor who appeared to be targeting Wilson’s political consultants.

For its part, Wilson’s campaign said Atwater voted on bills that directly affected the South Carolina Medical Association when he was its chief executive. And while he reported his $33,000 salary from the group on his ethics forms, he didn’t report around $400,000 from private insurance subsidiaries of the Medical Association.

Atwater said he followed the rules in his disclosure.

Wilson received nearly 49 percent of the vote in the primary, but third place finisher William Herlong threw his support being Atwater.

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Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP. Read his work at https://apnews.com/search/jeffrey%20collins .