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6 incumbents, including Wilson, win US House races in SC

November 4, 2020 GMT
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U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina makes his victory speech after winning another term in office on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)
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U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina makes his victory speech after winning another term in office on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Six U.S. House incumbents from South Carolina easily won reelection Tuesday. The newest one lost.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham lost to Republican Nancy Mace as the GOP regained a seat they lost in 2018. It was the most expensive and most watched U.S. House race in the seat anchored by Charleston and Hilton Head Island.

Mace became only the second woman elected to a full term in Congress from South Carolina.

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson survived one of his toughest reelection fights in winning a 10th full term over Adair For Boroughs, a Democratic newcomer who outraised him.

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In all, Republicans flipped at least three state Senate seats and two state House seats and felt as more results came in that they could flip even more.

In one expected bright spot in Tuesday’s election for Democrats, U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn won a 15th term.

Republican U.S. Rep. William Timmons won a second term, U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan won a sixth term, Republican U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman won a second full term and U.S. Rep. Tom Rice won a fifth term.

Each of South Carolina’s seven U.S. House districts had a Republican taking on a Democrat. And four of the seven challengers to incumbents were women.

Here are some of the other races showing up on ballots across South Carolina:

2nd DISTRICT

South Carolina Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson has won a 10th full term in Congress.

Wilson beat well-financed Democratic challenger Adair Ford Boroughs.

Wilson has kept a low profile since a brief brush with national infamy when he yelled “You lie!” at President Barack Obama during a speech before a joint session of Congress in September 2009.

The district is one of the most conservative in South Carolina, extending from the suburbs of Columbia through staunchly Republican Lexington County and into Aiken.

Boroughs tapped into national frustration with politics and touted herself as a young, energetic candidate who wanted to shake up the status quo. She raised more than $2 million, while Wilson raised about $1.5 million.

But Wilson’s name recognition and a district drawn conservatively to help his strengths 10 years ago were too much to overcome.

“I’m just grateful for the opportunity to serve,” Wilson said at the only debate between the candidates in October.

Wilson was first elected to the U.S. House in 2001 after 17 years in the South Carolina Senate.

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Also running were Sonny Narang for the Alliance Party and Kathleen Wright for the Constitution Party.

3rd DISTRICT

Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan has won a sixth term in South Carolina.

Duncan defeated Democrat Hosea Cleveland, a retired insurance salesman who has run for U.S. House in the past four elections, winning his party’s nomination in 2020 and 2016, when he was unopposed.

The congressional district covers 11 counties in the northwest part of South Carolina west of Greenville and north of Aiken.

Duncan spent eight years in the South Carolina House before running for his U.S. House seat. He is known as one of the most conservative members of Congress.

Duncan raised almost $1.4 million for his reelection campaign. Cleveland raised about $23,000.

4th DISTRICT

Republican Rep. William Timmons has been reelected to the U.S. House in South Carolina.

Timmons defeated Democrat Kim Nelson in the district that includes Greenville and Spartanburg.

Nelson was a political newcomer, while Timmons was elected to the U.S. House in 2018 after two years in the South Carolina Senate.

Timmons’ 23 percentage point win in 2018 was the closest the Democratic challenger has come to winning the seat this decade.

Timmons raised more than $1.3 million. Nelson, a public health care advocate, ran a substantial campaign on improving health care and raised almost $160,000.

Michael Chandler was also running under the Constitution Party.

5th DISTRICT

U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman has won a second full term in South Carolina.

Norman defeated Democrat Moe Brown, a former wide receiver for the University of South Carolina football team who was making his first run at political office.

Norman continues the Republican ownership of the seat that started in 2010 when former chief of staff for President Donald Trump, Mick Mulvaney, defeated John Spratt, a Democrat who had served 14 terms.

The sprawling district includes the rapidly growing suburbs of Charlotte, North Carolina, northern sections of the Interstate 85 corridor and areas around Sumter.

Brown touted his days working in the state Commerce Department under former Republican Gov. Nikki Haley. Meanwhile, Norman had Haley in person kicking off his reelection campaign earlier this year.

Brown tried to make it a competitive race on the money side, raising about $450,000. Norman more than doubled that.

6th DISTRICT

South Carolina’s longest serving congressman and a leader among House Democrats is heading back to the U.S. House for a 15th term.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn defeated Republican challenger John McCollum.

The congressional district connects parts of Columbia with parts of Charleston and was drawn to ensure it had a majority of minority voters. Clyburn is the only representative the district has had since it was drawn that way in the early 1990s.

The Navy veteran and tech company employee ran against Clyburn’s experience, saying that although he thought Clyburn was a good and respectable man, no one should serve in the U.S. House that long.

Clyburn’s most visible decision in 2020 was strongly throwing his support behind Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at a moment when the former vice president was vulnerable, helping him to a resounding victory in the South Carolina primary and the party’s nomination.

Clyburn raised $3.2 million for what always appeared to be an easy reelection bid, while McCollum didn’t raise enough by the end of October to need to file a federal campaign report.

Mark Hackett of the Constitution Party also ran for the seat.

7th DISTRICT

Republican Rep. Tom Rice has won a fifth term in the U.S. House, remaining the only representative that his South Carolina district has ever had.

Rice defeated Democrat Melissa Watson in the district that stretches from Darlington to Florence to Myrtle Beach. It was drawn in 2012 when South Carolina gained enough population to get a new district. Rice has won every race.

Wilson is a teacher who promised to work for economic development, education and infrastructure.

Rice is pushing a proposal that would cut the bill for meals eaten in restaurants on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in half, with the government reimbursing the eateries. The half-off deal would last a month.

Rice raised more than $1.3 million for his reelection, while Wilson raised about $130,000.

STATEHOUSE RACES

Republicans made gains in the South Carolina Statehouse including knocking off one Democratic state senator who had served for 30 years and another who served for 16 years and ran unsuccessfully for governor twice.

Democratic Sen. Vincent Sheheen was defeated by Republican Penry Gustafson, a small businesswoman and community volunteer in a district anchored in Kershaw County.

Sheheen ran for governor in 2010 and 2014 and was the author of the bill that removed the Confederate flag from a pole in front of the Statehouse after nine Black church members were killed in a racist attack in 2015 at Emanuel AME church in Charleston.

Republican businessman and lawyer Billy Garrett beat Democrat, Sen. Floyd Nicholson, who was seeking a fourth term in the district around Greenwood County.

Democratic state Sen. Glenn Reese, in office since 1991, was defeater by talk show host, businessman and former Spartanburg County Republican Party Chairman Josh Kimbrell.

Lancaster County Republican Party Chairwoman Sandy McGarry flipped a state House seat, beating Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell. The Democrat was seeking a fourth term and ran for lieutenant governor in 2018 on the Democratic ticket. Democratic Rep. Laurie Funderburk of Kershaw County also lost to Republican Vic Dabney, a retired military helicopter pilot.

All 46 of the South Carolina Senate seats are on the ballot, and more than two-thirds of them have a race between a Democrat and a Republican.

Republican started Tuesday with a 27-19 majority.

Just under half of the 124 South Carolina House races have opponents from both major parties. Republicans started Election Day holding 78 seats.

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Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP.

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Find AP’s full election coverage at APNews.com/Election2020.